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CCS Spotlight: Food Service Team

Although we typically do our CCS Spotlight at the end of the month, we decided to switch it up and share this month’s spotlight a little early, in honor of Lunch Hero Day! Lunch Hero Day is a national holiday that celebrates the hard-working professionals in our school cafeterias. We thought it would be fitting to honor our Food Service team by sharing their CCS Spotlight on this special day. Learn more about this tight-knit, hardworking group who prove to us day in and day out just how much they care for our students. 

Please enjoy the following interviews with Lisa Tevendale, Joy Lovelace, Sarah Millis, Wendy Clements, Melody Burnham, Carol Baumlin, Gail Burnham, Sue Ward, and Jodie Burton.


 

Lisa Tevendale, Food Service Director

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

As a food service director I manage our Elementary and Middle/High School cafeteria, maintain training and practices for food safety, create menus that meet USDA and National School Lunch Program requirements, promote healthy eating to our student body – all while maintaining a fiscally sound budget.

2) Why did you choose this position?

I started working for CCS in September of 2009 as the cook in the Middle/High School. The hours were perfect for my family, as I had two elementary-age children, and I have always loved cooking.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I worked 3.5 years in the cook position and then I was recommended to replace the Food Service Director who left in 2012. I’ve been in that position now for 8.5 years. 

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

My favorite thing about my job is 100% feeding our Corinth students!

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

When we began discussing our reopening plan last summer, the main goal was to get our students back into our buildings safely. This meant that many changes in the way that food was served had to be made. I would love nothing more than to see us return to the old way of serving, but safety comes first and we had to find a way to accomplish both. Students in the Middle/High School now order their lunches through a Google form each morning using their Chromebooks, while the Elementary students’ meal choices are taken during homeroom and sent to the cafeteria.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

We have made the best of an unprecedented situation. We learned that we are resilient and creative. I could not be prouder of my staff! They have all shown a great deal of dedication and passion for feeding the children of the community. They have shown that they can all switch gears at a moment’s notice to get the work done. 

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

I have lived in this community for 16 years. I now have a CCS graduate and another in his Junior year of High School. Over those 16 years, I have met so many great people and have never been a part of a community with so much heart. I have seen the Corinth come together in so many happy and sad times and it makes you so proud to be a part of it. 


Joy Lovelace, Food Service

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

Our responsibilities are to prepare and serve healthy and delicious meals to the children in the district in a happy and cheerful environment.

2) Why did you choose this position?

At first, I chose this position because I had a young child beginning school and it was the perfect job for a single mother that had to be home with my child on the days he was not in school. I have also always had a job working with children– it’s my passion to hallways make a positive difference in a child’s life, even if it is just a smile.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I started as a substitute in the district in September of 2009. Then, when a permanent position opened up in September of 2012, I was excited to apply and continue working with the school. 

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

Everything! We have a great team of dedicated women that work very hard to make the lunchtime experience positive, happy, and cheerful. 

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

The biggest challenge has been not being able to interact with the children. I miss them coming in and talking about how excited they were about their classes, sports, prom, etc. I also miss seeing their faces light up when they would see our holiday decorations, or when we dressed up for holidays and school spirit week. 

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

Our team has proven that we can adapt to any unexpected situation and get the job done efficiently and in a timely manner. 

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

I am not originally from Corinth, I moved here about 20 years ago, but I would like to thank the community for welcoming me. I love the small town feeling. I have met so many wonderful people through the years during my time volunteering at fundraisers, PTA events, food drives, etc. I love how the community comes together whenever needed. 

Since I moved here, our town has experienced the loss of loved ones, the loss of big businesses, and a global pandemic. The Corinth community is one big family that I am proud to be a part of.



Sarah Millis, Cook, Oak Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

My responsibilities as a cook are to prepare meals according to USDA guidelines. This includes ordering ingredients and keeping inventory.

2) Why did you choose this position?

I chose this position because I enjoy it!  I have always said that it feels like preparing a large meal with all of your favorite aunts, every day. 

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the school district for approximately seven years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I really enjoy chatting and joking with the kids as they come through the lunch line.

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

There have been so many changes this year but for me, the biggest challenge has been transporting meals to our students and still keeping the appropriate temperature.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

This school year has made me realize that I work with a pretty great team. Things can change daily and their flexibility has been the key to making this work.

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

I would like to reassure the community that their cafeteria staff truly cares about their children. I have had the pleasure over the years getting to know them and they are great kids, from a great community.


Wendy Clements, Food Handler, Oak Street Campus

 

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

Making deli sandwiches for Middle/High School students, setting up snacks by bagging and labeling them, serving hotlines, and then cleaning and disinfecting at the end of the day.

2) Why did you choose this position?

My son started school here and I was looking for something to do. I applied to the cafeteria and got the job. I liked that I was very close to home.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the district for 23 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I love serving the students and watching them grow up through the years.

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

Accepting the many changes that our team has had to adjust to. We learned to work closer as a team which has been great.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

It is looking better than last year and we are slowly but surely getting back to a more normal routine.

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

I am proud to be a part of a community that bonds together in bad times, whether it is COVID, or to help people in need. I have lived here for 60+ years, so I have seen that the community is always willing to help.  


Melody Burnham, Food Handler, Oak Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

Serving breakfast and lunch to the High School and Middle School students, safely. 

2) Why did you choose this position?

I chose this position because I enjoy being around the students and the convenient hours of the job.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the district for 35 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I love serving the students and being around my coworkers.

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

One difficulty that this year has brought me has been being able to hear students' orders/questions with their masks on.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

Hopefully getting back to an open lunch line.

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

Overall, it is a nice place to live and work. I have been here my entire life!


Carol Baumlin, Food Handler, Center Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

To prepare and cook a variety of foods and supervise the preparation of the meals.

2) Why did you choose this position?

I have been a cook/chef in many restaurants for over 20 years and cooking for a school has become my passion!

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the district for 5 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I love seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces when they receive a meal, like how excited they get when I serve watermelon!

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

One challenge has been packing and delivering lunches and breakfast.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

Learning to adjust to new situations.

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

We all do our very best to create a welcoming and enjoyable lunch experience for the students. We truly love our kids!


Gail Burnham, Food Handler, Center Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

Making the students feel fed and happy.

2) Why did you choose this position?

I enjoy the schedule that comes with this job, it allows me to coordinate with my children’s schedules.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the district for over 30 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

Seeing my children and grandchildren growing up through our school system.

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

One challenge has been the added time that safety precautions take. 

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

I always enjoy meeting new students.

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

I would just say to take this one day at a time. 


Sue Ward, Food Server, Center Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

I help with making the meals and serving students.

2) Why did you choose this position?

I started working here when my daughter started school. I actually went to this school as well. I liked that the job was close to home.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I have worked for the district for 26 years.

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I like seeing the kids when they come through my serving line (you never know what they are going to tell you!)

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

Admittedly, it took a while to get used to a new way of feeding our students.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

Most of the students have still been able to attend school and receive free meals this school year. 

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

Corinth may be a small town, but everyone seems to come together when needed. 


Jodie Burton, Food Service, Center Street Campus

1) What are the responsibilities of your role? 

I help with the dishes and preparation for service. I deliver lunches to the classrooms, among many other duties.

2) Why did you choose this position?

This position works well with having young kids at home, it allows me to have the same schedule as them.

3) How long have you worked in/with Corinth Central School District?

I started this position only two months ago but I plan on retiring here!

4) What is your favorite thing about this job?

I like working with food.

5) What has presented the biggest challenge in your position during our new school year with Covid protocols in place?

It has been a challenge to learn a new routine.

6) What is one positive thing about the new school year?

It's been great to see the kids still pushing forward and for the most part, embracing new standards. 

7) If there was one thing you could say to the entire Corinth community, what would it be?

A simple “thank you” for always coming together when it’s needed most. 

 
May 07, 2021