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SPS United: Meet Mary Marshall, lunchroom aide at Boyd Elementary School

Nov. 8, 2023


“I worked at Mercy hospital for 36 and a half years. I tried to make it to 40 years, but I knew when it was time to retire. I had accomplished everything I wanted to do in healthcare but had a need to do more and knew I had more to give.

Three years ago, I applied for the position as LRA (lunchroom aide) at Boyd Elementary School, mainly for the hours, but I knew I would be working with kids. I work from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the first hour of my schedule working in the kitchen area helping prep for lunch and the last two hours being in the cafeteria helping with the lunchtimes with the kids. 

I absolutely love the students, and I try very hard to build a positive relationship with them. They know I have high expectations for them, and oftentimes we will talk about some of the choices they make and what needs to happen to make it better, letting them know they are better than those bad choices, that they are not just learners, but leaders and capable of anything. 

Filling condiments, cleaning tables, and just doing the duties of the LRA is good, but the kids are the main reason I keep coming back. I have two sons, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren whom I become a taxi driver for after I get off work at Boyd. But, at school I’m simply Ms. Mary and this gives me purpose. 

I love the children, and I’m a part of the team at Boyd of teachers and staff who truly care that the students are successful – supporting the children to help them become leaders is the part of my job that I love the most."