36 Year School Employee Retires

A soft-spoken school employee who has made sure that Clarke County students were well fed for 36 years is retiring.

CCPS food service staff member Mary Alice Cook began her career in May, 1974 - Photo Edward Leonard

Mary Alice Cook has been caring for Clarke’s kids for so long that her original D. G. Cooley Elementary school job application was filled out on a “ditto” form. (For our more youthful readers, “ditto” technology involved a hand-turned rubber wheel that pressed purple-blue inked print on to a sheet of paper one page at a time. The alcohol smell from the process was overpowering and the person turning the wheel invariably became covered with blue ink. Just sayin’…)

With deep emotion and respect in his voice and face, Rick Catlett told the school board that he has had the honor of knowing Cook for a long time.

“I’ve known Ms. Cook for 20 years,” Catlett said. “She treats everyone with respect and as if they were her friend. I doubt that Ms. Cook has ever met a stranger.”

Mary Cook receives retirement congratulations from assistant superintendent Rick Catlett - Photo Edward Leonard

Catlett praised the fine meals that Mary Cook has prepared for generations of Clarke students, especially her exceptional baking skills.

“Ms. Cook used to bake biscuits and homemade breads in the school cafeteria,” Catlett recounted. “Kids would line up to get one of her biscuits.”

“We are really going to miss her,” Catlett said.

Several school staff and school board members thanked Cook for the service that she gave to their children as well as all of the children’s lives she has touched through her gift of wholesome and well prepared meals.

“Ms. Cook is a dear friend and neighbor of mine,” said school board member Jennifer Welliver. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Comments

  1. Congratulations for a well-earned retirement! You have certainly earned it.

  2. (For our more youthful readers, “ditto” technology involved a hand-turned rubber wheel that pressed purple-blue inked print on to a sheet of paper one page at a time. The alcohol smell from the process was overpowering and the person turning the wheel invariably became covered with blue ink. Just sayin’…)

    One cuss word at the 1:30 mark, but the scene at the end says it all. Classic movie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9huSs0g67c

    And congrats to Ms Cook. Enjoy your retirement

    • …ahhhh nostalgia.

      never saw the movie, what a hoot.

      Don’t you wish teachers were still allowed to have that kind of authority?

      • Mr Hand would probably be in jail today for child abuse or on some Federal terrorism charge. And I’d highly recommend the movie. Just be aware it’s definately “R” rated

  3. Denise Enger says:

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Mary Cook when she worked at Berryville Primary last school year, and she will truly be missed. She was always kind and patient with our young students as they came through the lunch line, greeting them with a smile every day. Enjoy your retirement Miss Mary, and don’t be a stranger! 🙂

  4. Dwight Brown says:

    Way to go Mrs. Cook! You have done a great job for a great many years and will be missed. Hope your retirement is SUPER. Bless you, D.