Attention directed towards Todd McDonough


Lyndsay Duato

McDonough directs WA’s afternoon traffic.

Lyndsay Duato, Staff Writer

Todd McDonough, who retired from the army last July, is Westford Academy’s new traffic guard.

When longtime traffic guard Sheila Curly retired, WA was in need of a new traffic guard. Geoffrey Pavao offered McDonough, a friend from outside of work, the job.

“I wanted to donate my time to the school, getting paid was an extra bonus,” McDonough said.

He said that his military experience has helped him with skills for this job. Being an army medic means that he is ready for any medical emergency that may arise on the job, and he’s always ready for anything out of the ordinary.

There are, of course, a few hazards while on the job. McDonough says that he has already almost been hit by a car on at least three occasions. He also says that the adults tend to be worse at driving than the kids. There are a lot of driving distractions. People will be drinking coffee, doing their makeup, and even talking or texting on their phones.

“I think the kids think I’m kind of like the police. I’ve never seen a kid on the phone driving past me. […] The parents are constantly on the phone,” McDonough said.

He was also offered positions as the Blanchard Middle School’s baseball coach and freshman football coach for next year’s football season. McDonough also does announcing for basketball games when Mark Miller, the usual announcer, isn’t there.

On top of all this , McDonough also had his own personal security company and worked as security for a couple chains of night clubs before his job here at WA. He had directed traffic many times while he was doing security which has helped him in his current job as Westford Academy’s traffic guard.

A typical day for McDonough includes coming to Westford Academy in the morning to direct traffic for about 40 minutes. Then, he tries to leave as soon as possible to see his fifth grade twins, Ty and Alexis, before they go off to school in the morning. Being a disabled veteran and having a heart condition, McDonough has a lot of doctor’s appointments which he gets done during the school day.  Finally he comes back to WA to do the end of day traffic for about 15 minutes and then returns home.

He says that his arms get tired, especially when he first started.

“If I have the traffic flowing in one direction I won’t keep constantly waving my arms, but from time to time people will come down Cold Spring and they’ll start slowing down, and I’m like come on,” McDonough said.

McDonough also says that the school gave him some money to go out and buy safety gear. He went to Working Gear in Nashua, and he also says that he’s not a big fan of his bright yellow pants.

McDonough says that he likes WA. He says that it has a nice family feel and all the kids and staff have been very nice.

“I hope [to work here for a long time], I would like to do it at least through the time my kids go to WA,” McDonough said.