A walk through our kitchen

A lack of appreciation and recognition for our school lunch staff is unacceptable


Michael Brandt '17

Cafeteria workers greet students, starting as early as the morning breakfast.

We see them five days a week, every week of the school year, and they are responsible for five of our weekly meals, yet it is rare that we ever take the time to truly appreciate their work. They together make up the Jones lunch staff. The reality is that since we only exchange one or two words like, “chicken patty,” or “pepperoni,” it is easy to take their presence for granted. On the other hand, however, the lunch staff is extremely humble and grateful for the opportunity to work at Jones.

“Positions opened up three years ago, I chose Jones, and now I feel blessed,” said Vicky Klarevas, school lunch staff member. This sense of appreciation and love for what they do can be felt if you pay attention to the way they speak to the student body. Often referring to us as “friends,” since it is obviously too difficult to remember over one thousand names. When having a rough day at school, although often ignored or unnoticed it is genuinely nice to hear the words, “What can I get for you, friend?”

When speaking to the lunch staff, I was astonished. It was great to see and hear the way they spoke and thought about Jones as a school, and how fortunate they felt to be able to work for such a “wonderful” group of people.

“These are some of the nicest students, and I do this [prepare and serve food] all for them,” said Rayna Moore, member of the school lunch staff at Jones since 1994.

For some students this positive attitude displayed by the lunch staff does not go unnoticed.

“They are always in a happy and excited mood, which can quickly make a bad day feel better,” said John Hayden ‘18.

Although some members of the lunch staff are new, or some have worked for other schools previously, their love for Jones is uncomparable. Klarevas, who has previously worked for other schools including Walter Payton, views the Jones environment as special.

“From the principal, to the staff, to the students, everyone is just so nice,” said Klarevas.

The same way we say hello or acknowledge familiar teachers in the hallways during passing periods, should be the same way we treat such a hard working staff. Making such a humble group of people feel as if their hard work is noticed and appreciated is such a simple, yet very rewarding task. Just take a second to think to yourself, when your stomach is growling because your forgot to eat breakfast, or because you just had P.E, or took two tests, our lunch staff is always working to insure we have a meal ready for every one of us.

“They just save my day when I’m hungry after working out,” said Hayden.

The hours of work put in “behind the scenes” is remarkable. I am not asking that we know all of their first and last names, or remember to say happy birthday when their birthdays come around. I simply ask and believe that we should be more appreciative of what they do for our school, and give back the great vibes that they give off to us. A simple smile, or “how are you doing today?,” can really make someone’s hard work feel appreciated. And always remember that they do what they do for us.

“It is my pleasure to feed the school, because this school is full of wonderful people,” said Moore.