Iseo Yun ’24
At a boarding school, the food that we eat is one of the most important parts of our lives, but the sheer amount of effort put into the meals – three meals for 625-plus students, faculty, and staff seven days a week – is often overlooked. As we celebrate faculty and staff appreciation week Mercersburg News decided to honor three long-standing dining hall staff members: Barb, Patty, and Kathy.
Patty started working at Mercersburg in 1997. Kathy applied with the help of Patty and started working in 2001. As sisters, Patty and Kathy have been working together with their whole lives, even throughout their different jobs at the Mercersburg Inn and Whitetail Resort. Although you’ll normally see Kathy and Patty in the dining hall itself, they help with pretty much every aspect that goes into feeding the Mercersburg community, from working in the dish room to serving Board of Regents dinners.
But with 24 and 20 years of service respectively, Patty and Kathy are the juniors in this trio. Two weeks ago, Barb celebrated 29 years of service. Fac brat Charlie Betkowski ’24, and longtime fan of Barb since he was an infant, had this to say: “Quotation.”
Given the long period that Barb, Kathy, and Patty have worked here, they are familiar with most of the faculty. Music director Bryan Morgan ’07 has known these staff members since he was a student here and described Barb as “genuine,” Patty as “rib-tickling,” and Kathy as “compassionate.” One of his favorite memories of the staff is their “spur of the moment quick dance parties” in the dining hall.
Morgan pointed out that we can all better appreciate the dining hall staff by having genuine conversations with them. He suggests “asking them how their day is going, saying thank you, and not the ‘automated thank you’ that people give at the end of class or as they’re putting their plates up at the dishwasher station as they’re walking away.”
This week serves as a reminder that although the staff is always there for the community, and that their service should not be taken for granted.
Morgan also emphasized that “They take the worry of what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner off our shoulders daily. They don’t do it for glory and they aren’t making millions of dollars. So show them some respect!”