Monika Griner, our State Agency Area Consultant serving School Nutrition Programs in Southwest Georgia shared this heartwarming encounter from the field. She titled it "I Met a Hero Today," telling the story of the resilience of Georgia School Nutrition Professionals.
I met a hero today. I want you to meet Ms. Brenda Wilson from Thomasville City School Nutrition.
Mrs. Brenda Wilson
is the cafeteria Manager at Scott Elementary School in Thomasville, GA.
She has served the Thomasville City School system well for the last eight years and has grown to love her role providing service to the students and staff, stating she "was put here to serve the public."
Brenda sees her job as more than food. It is real life, giving students more than food when they pass through her lunch lines. It is loving them along the way that truly counts. Often, she is called upon to help calm a student who may be having a bad day, and her first question is, “are you hungry?” Brenda believes if we can meet basic needs first and feed a hungry body, the rest will often take care of itself.
Brenda’s favorite part of her job does not just include the students. Her staff plays a tremendous role in the daily success at Scott Elementary. To Brenda, her staff is not just people she works with daily. They are her family. One special employee, Karen Brown, has been in Brenda’s life since childhood. They graduated from high school together and now work side by side to feed the next generation of students.
“Ms. Brenda refers to her staff as jewels. Ms. Brenda has some employees who need a little extra help with job-related tasks, but with her training and guidance, her staff have a good work ethic and take pride in what they are doing. Her staff works hard not to disappoint her or the students they feed,” stated Talzonda Randall, Thomasville City School Nutrition Director. What a testimony of commitment and dedication to her job!
In addition to the enormous responsibility as manager at Scott Elementary, Brenda Wilson also has a unique hobby and connection to another community group. Brenda, her husband, and her sister are part of a motorcycle club in Thomasville, and she spends countless weekends riding on her Ultra Classic Harley Davidson. She even bounced back from a tumble she took on her Harley, and at the young age of 62, Brenda proved she was a “true rider.” When you go down on your bike, you get right back on!
The club spreads joy throughout Georgia and across the nation. They provided over 1000 bookbags to students and over 200 hams to families in need at Christmas. This is another way Brenda fulfills her mission to serve the public.
Brenda recalls a fun memory when the students at Scott Elementary recognized her riding in the annual Rose Parade in Thomasville. She is now affectionately called “the cool cafeteria manager,” and students presented her with a replica of her motorcycle to keep in her office.
Along with her unique hobby, she has three children, six grandchildren, and a heart filled with love for many. Brenda’s wisdom is transparent and sincere, and she offered this final statement, "You have to feed a plant for it to grow.”