One of Elgin's lifeguards has been recognized as the "perfect guard."
Megan Anderson, 19, of Elgin has worked five summers in pools at Lords Park and The Centre. This year she became the city's first recipient of the Golden Guard award.
"It's a huge honor to have gotten it," Anderson said.
Jeff Ellis and Associates certifies Elgin lifeguards and conducts random audits while the pools are open in the summer. Anderson said the June and July auditors both independently recognized her as doing a great job. After the second audit, she was given the Golden Guard.
Greg Bruggeman, the aquatic supervisor in Elgin, said the auditor noted her exemplary use of scanning patterns while she was on duty and her habit of changing between a sitting and standing position every five minutes. The auditor said she exceeded standards.
Bruggeman has been with the city for 17 years, first as a lifeguard and now as the supervisor. He said the award shows Anderson's dedication to lifeguarding and the type of person she is.
"None of our employees have ever received this award, and that includes me," Bruggeman said. "It's something that I'm extremely proud of."
Anderson never participated in swim team, but she found lifeguarding was one of the few positions she could qualify for when she was 15 years old and looking for a job. An Elgin High School graduate, Anderson is now studying at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights.
She said her faith is extremely important to her and is the reason behind her dedication to lifeguarding.
"I like to try and live by the Bible verse that says in everything you do, work as if you were working for Christ himself," Anderson said. "That's why I do this. It's not just a job; you should work hard in everything you do."