2006-01-28 / Front Page

Millions Of Meals Later…

Popular CCSD Cafeteria Manager Retires After 28 Years
By James Meade Staff Reporter

OVER 5,000,000 SERVED!– Linda Manginell, left, literally hands control of the Cameron County School District cafeteria over to new manager Tracy Colwell. Manginell is retiring this Tuesday after 28 years and over five million lunches served. OVER 5,000,000 SERVED!– Linda Manginell, left, literally hands control of the Cameron County School District cafeteria over to new manager Tracy Colwell. Manginell is retiring this Tuesday after 28 years and over five million lunches served. If you are between the ages of five and 47, and you grew up in Cameron County, there is a good chance that Linda Manginell has cooked for you.

Manginell has worked in the kitchen at Cameron County High School since 1978. For the last 13 of those 28 years, she has been the cafeteria manager, overseeing an operation that provides in the neighborhood of 1,000 hot lunches each school day. This Tuesday, however, she retires and will hang up her red apron for good.

After 28 years of coming to work at 6:30 a.m. and cooking for around 1,000 people every day for nine months out of the year, she said that she was ready to spend some time on herself.

“It was time,” she said. “I just want to stay home and do whatever I feel like doing.”

Manginell is looking forward to being able to spend her newly found free time learning to use her husband Fred’s power tools for wood working projects. She also plans to catch up on her reading.

“I will really miss all the kids,” she said, “and all the wonderful people I work with.”

Over the years, she has been a part of preparing and serving at least five million meals for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

“It has been an experience,” she stated. “You never know what to expect from day to day.”

Her co-workers all expresse their sadness at seeing her go, but congratulate her and all wish her well.

“I’m jealous that it’s not me,” joked Judy Clancy, who has worked with Manginell for the past 22 years. “But I am happy for her.”

Verna Reed, a 21-year veteran lunch lady, said that all of the employees love her and are going to miss her.

“She’s been a good boss,” stated Joann Miller, who has worked alongside Manginell for 20 years. “We are all very happy for her.”

Replacing Manginell is Tracy Colwell. Colwell, a lifelong Emporium resident, comes to CCSD with 15 years experience in school nutrition, having been previously employed as manager of the Austin Area School cafeteria.

Manginell literally handed control of the cafeteria over to Colwell Thursday morning as she gave her the keys to the door and the office.

“Tracy will do a great job,” she said. “She really knows her stuff.”

Manginell had this on the monthly menus sent home with students: “To everyone from Mrs. Manginell: hope all your years to come are filled with happiness. Good luck in all you do. Thanks for the great memories I have.”

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