Catawba County School Staff to receive bonuses

Catawba County School Staff to receive bonuses


CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — For 30 years, Teresa Church has served and prepared meals for students at Oxford Elementary School in Catawba County. 

 

What You Need To Know

Catawba County School Board approved a bonus program from federal COVID-19 relief monies for current full- and part-time employees and substitutes

School nutrition staff are noncertified staff and previously did not qualify for bonuses

All active full-time employees are eligible for a $1,000 bonus paid on December 10 and an additional $1,000 paid on May 20, 2022

Eligible part-time employees will receive a retention bonus of $500 on December 10 and $500 on May 20, 2022

 

She started working because her middle child started school, and she needed a job. 

Over the next three decades she worked her way up to school nutrition manager. 

Some of her favorite times she says are when the staff dresses up for the students during Spirit Week or other fun themed days. 

Church has seen all of her children and now her grandchildren grow up through the years at the school. 

She begins her day at 6:30 a.m., unloading any packaged food from the truck and cooking the lunches for the students. 

Then minutes before 11 a.m., the first class starts rolling through the lunch line. 

Because of the pandemic, students at Oxford are not yet eating in the cafeteria. 

All the food is served in takeout boxes with labels taped above each meal, letting students know what their options are that day. 

“Some of my favorite things about working at the school, is the conversations students have with us. Sometimes they tell us things they shouldn’t! And they also give great hugs,” Church said. 

When schools closed in 2020 because of the pandemic, Church and her staff had to quickly adapt. They began making and packing thousands of meals for students and families to pick up and take home. The hours they worked also changed, instead of the usual 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., staff had to come back in the evening and pack dinners and breakfast for families at 6:30 p.m. 

Church says in the past, school nutrition staff didn’t qualify for bonuses because they are noncertified staff. 

In October, the Catawba County School Board approved a bonus program from federal COVID-19 relief monies for current full- and part-time employees and substitutes. 

For this first time, Church and her staff will be receiving a bonus. 

“Everybody is working hard, our cafeteria, our custodian, our TA’s. teachers, everybody is working harder than they ever have before, so this bonus shows them how they’re valued and appreciated,” Oxford Elementary School Principal Rene Spry said. 

“I think they seen that we really worked hard and helped as much as everybody else,” Church said. “It take a village to raise these kids.”



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