Southside students will officially be served by the best this year. Head Cook Lorraine Griffith has been chosen as the state of Wyoming’s Food Services Employee of the year for the 2022-2023 …
Southside students will officially be served by the best this year. Head Cook Lorraine Griffith has been chosen as the state of Wyoming’s Food Services Employee of the year for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Griffith has been a part of many Southside Elementary School students’ lunches over the years. She has worked a total of 19 years at Southside Elementary, the first five years when her children were young, and the last 14 years consecutively.
“It just makes me feel really good knowing I have made a difference everyday in the kids’ lives when they come through the lunch line,” Griffith said.
Griffith was given the award on June 30, when attending the Wyoming School Nutrition Association Conference in Casper.
Griffith isn’t cocky but the award nomination did not come as a surprise.
“I did [know about the nomination] because my boss accidentally sent the email she sent everyone else asking for recommendations,” Griffith chuckled.
Food Services Director Jill Queen, who had worked with Griffith for eight years, nominated her for the award.
“Beyond her work for this school, she is just an amazing person. She’s a strong, kind person,” Queen said.
Griffith is innovative, cool under pressure when plans change and loved by the staff and
When it comes to the children, Griffith’s winning strategy for serving kids is to just be kind, she knows that in elementary school a students favorite subjects are “recess, P.E. and lunch.”
“I am always nice, no matter what to children. Even when a child is naughty I’ve been nice,” Griffith said.
She remembers when a student was once mean to her, she didn’t break her rule, she just asked him why he was being mean when she was always nice to him. The student didn’t have an answer and quickly changed his tune.
The Wyoming Department of Education received a large number of nominations on Griffith’s behalf through an anonymous survey, which was provided to the Tribune by Child Nutrition Programs State Director, Carla Bankes.
While many submissions praised Griffith’s kindness and dedication to serving students, several submissions praised Griffith’s participation and involvement in the school outside of the cafeteria.
“Lorraine does not just spend time in the cafeteria working. She visits classrooms and checks on kids and teachers,” a comment said. “She also participates in all of the school-wide festivities. If it is dress up as your favorite superhero, she is right there dressing up with the kids.”
For Griffith, it’s only natural to come to work focused on giving a hundred percent for Southside Elementary.
“I really enjoy my job, I love cooking, I love the kids and that makes all the difference,” Griffith said.