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Hawkins schools find a variety of ways to show appreciation for cafeteria staff

Jeff Bobo • Jan 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Schools across Hawkins County have been gong the extra mile all month to make sure their cafeteria employees know how much they’re appreciated.

The Utrust Employee Appreciation theme this month was the Gold Rush of 1849, and schools honored cafeteria staff with luncheons, notes of appreciation, special musical performances, goody bags and delicious treats.

“We truly have struck it rich with our fantastic food service employees,” said Hawkins County Schools Director of Human Resources Teresa Drinnon. “Not only do they provide healthy meals for our students by adhering to very strict nutrition standards, they also create a warm, nurturing environment for our students to enjoy their meals. We are thankful for the work they do each day to feed our students nutritional food and for preparing meals with that very special and most important ingredient — love.”

Here’s a rundown of what each school did to honor their cafeteria staff:

Joseph Rogers Primary

JRP celebrated Cafeteria Workers Appreciation Day on Jan. 17 by treating its cafeteria ladies to a "golden" baked potato bar. Then they were presented with miner sacks stuffed with golden tissue, hooded jackets and chocolate gold coins. Students made and presented them with cards of thanks.

McPheeters Bend Elementary

McPheeter's Bend celebrated Cafeteria Workers Appreciation Day by presenting Ms. Tosha and Ms. Barbara T-shirts, $25 Olive Garden gift cards, chocolate, breakfast from Pals and each student wrote a letter of appreciation that was bound into a book.

Cherokee High School

Cherokee celebrated its food service workers this month by demonstrating that its food service workers are more precious than gold to the staff and students of CHS. Students created decorations, wrote thank you notes on gold coins and made gift bags for the food service workers. They also decorated the cafeteria and presented the gift bags.

Clinch School 

Clinch’s faculty, staff and students made treat bags, wrote letters, created posters and performed cheers to show their appreciation of the hard work and dedication put forth by their school’s cafeteria staff.

Carters Valley Elementary

CVES had its marquee lit up for cafeteria staff as they drove in, and they were greeted at the door with notes from students. Students made announcements over the intercom about them, and the kindergarten put together a gold mine full of goodies including gold fingernail polish, hand soap, lots of candy, gold bath bombs, caramel kettle corn. Workers were also treated with Pals for lunch.

Mooresburg Elementary

Mooresburg celebrated the food service staff with several golden items. Served on a golden platter, Linda, Donna, and Debbie received gold-wrapped chocolate, candy, water, gum, flowers, a jar to hold their gold, and many smiles, thank yous and hugs in appreciation for making sure students are ready to learn with full bellies.

Church Hill Middle

CHMS showed appreciation for its cafeteria workers by presenting them with treat bags filled with fruit, candy, chips, water, and crackers; as well as a decorated cake. Ms. Sampson’s class made posters/banners to decorate the cafeteria; students put a message on the sign at the front of the school; and cafeteria staff were presented with their treat bags and African violet plants.

Church Hill Intermediate

CHIS celebrated its cafeteria staff with a special luncheon complete with homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts. They were presented with special gifts made just for them and many notes of appreciation.

Church Hill Elementary

CHES food service staff Melissa, Jean, Joan, Jamie and Glenda take special care of of students on a daily basis, so students returned the kindness. They were served a meal of homemade soup and salad and several desserts. They were also given notes of appreciation and matching T-shirts.

Surgoinsville Elementary

Students and staff at SES celebrated their cafeteria staff with a California Gold Rush themed lunch complete with soup beans and corn bread in the shape of gold bars and homemade caramel corn to express their appreciation for the hard-working cafeteria staff and all they do every day.

Surgoinsville Middle

SMS showed their cafeteria staff how much they are appreciated with a  special lunch in their honor. They also enjoyed their "wall of thanks" and a special musical performance by one of the many talented students.

Mount Carmel Elementary

MCES’s cafeteria staff was recognized in a school-wide assembly. Students wrote about their “hearts of gold” and how much they care for students. The cafe staff was served a lunch of golden nuggets, cookies and chips. Ms. Denisa, Ms. Debbie, Ms. Jo and Ms. Deb greet each student and staff member with a smile each day and make sure they are taken care of.

Hawkins Elementary

Hawkins Elementary cafeteria workers received gift bags from students.

St. Clair Elementary

The cafe staff at St. Clair Elementary were given golden nuggets of thanks and love made by the students. Students read them to everyone in the gym, and then the cafe staff were treated to lunch from the Green Tomato.

Volunteer High School

VHS honored its food service workers with lunch on Jan. 25. Volunteer’s food service workers work diligently to provide food for students and staff every day at VHS, and they wanted to show our gratitude by feeding them.


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