Anyone at White Rock Elementary on a school day between 7:30-8:00 a.m. will more than likely hear Billy Dorsey before he is seen.
The WRE dad of three is one of seven “traffic dads” from the school’s Dads Club that helps direct cars during morning drop off. Parents likely recognize Dorsey as the man holding a bullhorn welcoming students and families with an encouraging “Good morning, Seahawks!”
“My role is the dad with the bullhorn that gets everybody fired up in the mornings,” Dorsey says. “No matter if they’re coming in a tiny bit late.”
The bullhorn also helps Dorsey gently call out drivers who are using their phones while dropping off.
“It’s good accountability without being too harsh,” he says.
During holidays like Christmas and Halloween, the traffic dads get families excited by dressing up for the season. This past December, Dorsey wore a Santa Claus hat while announcing a countdown until the holiday break.
Dorsey’s connection to WRE dates back to 1996 when he moved to Lake Highlands. His former wife was a teacher there, and he started volunteering in 2005 when his oldest daughter attended.
Shortly after Dorsey began helping out is when he started as a traffic dad — the only one at the time, he says. WRE is a big walk-to-school campus, and his goal as a traffic dad is to give parents as much time with their kids as possible.
“Whatever makes morning go better for mom and dad and White Rock Elementary students, that’s really what my passion was and is,” he says.
Dorsey’s youngest child graduated from WRE last school year. He says most traffic dads step away from the Dads Club when all their children phase out of the school, but return if needed.
But since the 2019-20 school year was cut short, Dorsey returned this year to see if WRE might need a few extra hands.
Dorsey continues as a traffic dad going into this spring semester hoping to be a source of motivation and encouragement for WRE families.
“When you know you’re making a difference, with or without the accolades, it’s very rewarding to continue and help our community, our school, our school district and just be a good American,” he says.
Dorsey starts his day between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. He works out, then heads straight to WRE. When students are all dropped off a little after 8 a.m., he spends the rest of his day as a roofing contractor at Dorsey Construction Company, which has been repairing roofs in DFW and Lake Highlands since 1996.
Dads Club members Travis Durham, Dan Jackson, David Day, John Rudebeck, Whit Fairbanks and Tim Clark are a few of several that continue volunteering alongside Dorsey despite having children already graduated from WRE, he says.
Other club duties these dads take on include helping out with school events, sports and the Indian Princess Program, which fosters understanding and companionship between fathers and daughters.
“It’s just really indicative of the volunteerism and the servant’s heart that we all seem to have for our children and sometimes just for the greater cause,” Dorsey says.