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Delano Security Guard plans to leave legacy behind

Teresa "Rita" Banks has been the Delano High security guard for 37 years. Although her passion for it runs deep, she's decided it might be time to retire...maybe.
Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 24, 2024

DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — Rita Banks has put in 37 years of dedication to the students of Delano High School. Loved by many generations, she says it might be time to pass the badge onto someone else for a change.

  • Although known for being campus security, she’s had a much bigger impact on the school and community.
  • Banks was also once a student at Delano High School, graduating in 1979.

On June 13th, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for track at Delano High. She also received the Service Award from the Youth Federation, she was classified as an employee of the year for the district and classified as Kern County employee of the year.
She graduated from Delano High School, became the basketball and track coach, and was campus security for 37 years. Rita Banks has decided that it may be time to leave her legacy behind, but she couldn’t leave without being recognized for all her hard work.

“I got a service award from the youth federation. Sometime in April, I was informed that I was classified employee of the year for the district,” said Delano High School security guard and Tigers alumnus Rita Banks. “I was also informed that I was Kern County classified employee of the year.”

Banks tells me her most recent award was being inducted into the school’s hall of fame for track.

She currently holds a 45-year record in track for shot-put and discus... but says she truly cherishes being the schools security guard for the past 37 years.

“I was excited to come back to be here at the place where I graduated,” said Banks. “Some of the people said that I was a little mean when I first started but you know that’s a part of the job.

Delano High principal Shondra Walker says it’s that tough love that builds the relationship with the students and says she isn’t surprised with her achievements.

“The kids just love her, a lot of them their parents went to school here and so their parents even have stories about their time here with Rita but she’s just one that is always putting in the extra time and investing and really taking the time to get to know the kids,” said Walker.

Patrolling the halls for almost four decades, Banks says she’s enjoyed watching the students grow up and then go on to supervise their kids.

She says after receiving multiple awards this year… its solidified a potential next step for her.

“It’s a great honor to get all those awards and this year because next year I’m retiring,” said Banks.

Banks says her plan is to retire at the end of the next school year but her dedication for the students and community runs so deep, she says she might stick it out a little bit longer.

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