After 31 years and serving more than 2 million meals to hungry Exeter students, Suzie Haas plans to take off her apron for the last time when the kitchen at Owatin Creek closes for the school year. She’s been an institution in the kitchens at Exeter for as long as most of the parents of the students she feeds every day have been alive.
“Suzie’s one of a kind. She has a great sense of humor that makes a tough job more enjoyable. She will definitely be missed,” said Courtnay Epler, Food Services Supervisor. Tracy Lis, Food Services Secretary, agreed, “She knows the name of each and every student that comes through the line. On their birthdays, she goes out of her way to make sure they feel special by finding little gifts for them, like rubber bracelets. She really puts her whole heart into the job.”
Suzie began working at Lausch in 1991 and stayed there for 20 years until the building closed. From there, she moved to Jacksonwald until 2017, and then to Owatin Creek five years ago. While she said that technology in the kitchen’s changed a bit over her career, the premise of cooking and serving healthy and nutritious food hasn’t. Reflecting on her time in the kitchen, she said that being a “lunch lady” is a career that’s tougher than most think–especially during the pandemic and dealing with the supply chain issues of the last year–but she said that great co-workers, a family-friendly schedule and getting to know so many kids were all the favorite parts of her work–as well as the food they served. “I’ll miss our brunch the most!” she said with a laugh. “And my orange-slicing machine!”