“I am very fortunate to be surrounded by fabulous people.”
“I’ve always believed that our jobs are extremely important to the everyday lives of our students and we deserve respect and a fair wage.” — Donna Hoffman
My greatest joy in life has always come from helping others and the satisfaction that comes with that, so in 1989 when life placed me in food services at Northern Middle School, I knew I was in the right place. The Garrett County Public School (GCPS) system is not only a great place to work but it’s top notch in the state for student achievement. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by fabulous people, not only in food service, but throughout our school.
I started at Northern Middle School as a substitute in food services and worked my way up to the head cook position which I’ve held for the past 23 years. I’m passionate about the quality and nutrition we provide, knowing that it plays a vital role in our students’ ability to learn. Our goal is to make lunchtime the favorite part of each kid’s day and judging by the compliments we receive from students, staff, and parents, we succeed.
Along with my job at GCPS, I work at a second job in food service at a local resort to make ends meet. The reality for support personnel is that we don’t make a living wage — that’s a major issue that I continue to work on as a member of the Garrett County Education Association (GCEA).
I’ve always believed that our jobs are extremely important to the everyday lives of our students and we deserve respect and a fair wage. As a 21-year member of GCEA and a member of the negotiating team, I have a voice on the issues that matter to my colleagues and me.
Our school system recently implemented a workload committee which I am on. We meet with various ESP colleagues and discuss what work-related concerns we have around working conditions, how issues like student behavior affect our work day, and what we can do to improve the school atmosphere for both staff and students.
I was born and raised in Garrett County and feel very fortunate to be able to work for the school system and the community. When my day is done I can look back and say “I did a good job — our customers are happy and well fed!”