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Longtime Greensboro crossing guard beloved by students, considered 1 of state’s best

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Who says you can't go home again? Definitely not Johnny Ketcham.

For the last seven years, Ketcham has been guarding the same crosswalk at John Van Lindley Elementary he used as a child.

While the crossing brings back great memories, his motivation is more than that.

"The kids, you know; I guess I never grew up," he said. "I get along with them good."

And the kids love "Mr. Johnny" as much as he loves them. One even played him in the school talent show.

Lindley's principal says his influence is immeasurable.

"It's more than just his position. It's his passion. His relationship is unreal," he says. "To start a day or end a day -- if a kid is having a rough morning and they see Mr. Johnny, it' a big smile on their face."

He did try to retire once... and he only made it two months. He's just too dedicated to the kids.

Ketcham was recently nominated as one of America's favorite crossing guards by Safe Kids Worldwide -- one of only seven in North Carolina.

While he didn't win the competition, he knows he's still the tops in the hearts of students teachers and parents at Lindley Elementary School.