IT'S been said she's the most hugged woman in Victoria.
Songs have been written about her, a school house has been named in her honour and now she has a coveted award to add to her accolades.
She is Carmel Pollock, Spring Gully Primary School's beloved lollipop lady, who was awarded the best school crossing supervisor in the region yesterday.
The prestigious award is given to supervisors who are welcoming, helpful and involved in the school community, to name a few criteria.
The City of Greater Bendigo presented her with a trophy in school assembly, surprising Mrs Pollock, whose shock was evident.
"I really, I don't know what to say," Mrs Pollock said.
"I just love all the children, the families, they're wonderful. It's a joy to cross the kids."
Mrs Pollock has dedicated 19 years to the role.
Mother Fiona Martin, who has two children attending the school, said Mrs Pollock played a vital role in the school community.
"She knows all the kids' names, she's amazing," she said.
"It makes a huge difference to kids a bit nervous about starting school to have someone know their name and to say hello to them every morning.
"She's built up a really good rapport with the kids, it's lovely."
Donna Bovaird agreed.
"At the end of the year there's always a big pile of gifts for her," she said.
Principal Francis Trezise said Mrs Pollock was the first face that greeted students, teachers and parents in the morning, and she personified the school's caring values.
He said she not only made an effort to remember all of the children's names, but also got to know toddler brothers and sisters, so when it was their time to start school they would have a familiar face to reassure them.
"It's just who she is," he said.
"She's a big part of what the school is all about.
She knows all the kids' names, she's amazing.Fiona Martin
"She's the most hugged person in the state."
Mrs Pollock said she had formed relationships with families spanning decades.
She said the school had been very good to her, naming a school house in her honour and making a giant banner to welcome her back when she took a few months off to recover from illness.
She said many children who had completed primary school returned to say hello.
The biennial awards are given by School Crossings Victoria.
Victorian schools are divided into seven regions, and crossing supervisors are nominated by the school community and council.