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Smith retires after 29 years at Thrasher

Thrasher Elementary students may notice the lunch lines are a little less festive this year come Valentine’s Day, a holiday in which recently retired cafeteria employee Jo Smith would have added a special Valentine’s touch to the desserts as well as the lunch line itself.

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Former Thrasher Elementary cafeteria worker Jo Smith, far right, celebrates her retirement with family members.

“She was a great decorator and we’ll miss that, her creativity,” said cafeteria manager Donna Warren of herself and cafeteria employees Gina Konsavage, Stacey Bureau and Linda Kiah.

Having served there for 29 years, Smith had been at Thrasher longer than any of the school’s other cafeteria employees upon her November 2012 retirement. In 1978 she started in the Nolan Elementary cafeteria, where she remained for five years before moving to Thrasher.

“She was one great baker,” said Warren of Smith, who was presented an award for her outstanding baking skills while at Thrasher. “She could make rolls like nobody.”

Smith’s famous rolls and cinnamon rolls always went quickly, as did the cheese bread she made for fellow employees with the extra dough, said Warren.

“She really loved serving these children, and they loved her too,” she said. “Some of them even called her Granny.”

Warren said Smith left the job for health reasons; otherwise she would still be behind a well-decorated serving line.

“We just want to thank Miss Jo for all her service to our children,” she said.

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