Archive for Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mother cooks up new way to thank teachers

December 21, 2005

A Tonganoxie parent found an unusual way to send Christmas cheer to teachers and staff at Tonganoxie Elementary School.

Amy Lewis prepared a spread of homemade lasagne, salad, rolls and brownies and served the meal to the entire school staff.

"I just told Mr. D (grade school principal Jerry Daskoski) that I figured teachers didn't need many more coffee cups or wooden apples," Lewis said.

So after asking, and receiving, Daskoski's OK, she began planning a Christmas-time lunch.

Daskoski said that when Lewis first mentioned the possibility of cooking lunch for the teachers and staff, he thought -- that as soon as she learned that might mean cooking for 70 or more people -- she'd change her mind.

But she didn't.

"She said, 'OK what time do they want to start eating and what time do they finish eating, because I need to make sure I get there in time and make sure I keep it warm,'" Daskoski said.

In fact, because it seemed such a large, and possibly expensive, task, Daskoski offered to help Lewis.

But she turned him down, he said, insisting on doing it herself.

And Monday morning, when teachers came to lunch in the teachers' workroom, Lewis' work, as well as her talent at cooking, were evident.

Six trays of lasagne, still warm from the oven, more trays of salad, and pans of rolls and brownies awaited the teachers and staff.

Second-grade teacher Deanna Sittner voiced her approval.

"We truly love it and enjoyed it," Sittner said of the meal.

Merrilee Cooper, third-grade teacher, said that while PTA has brought food for the teachers, this was the first time she could remember that one parent had supplied a meal for the entire staff.

Anna Broeker is a fourth-grade teacher who has the Lewis' daughter Madelyn, in her class.

Broeker described Amy Lewis as an involved parent.

"She goes on field trips, she worked the class' Halloween and Christmas parties," Broeker said. "She's always one who volunteers for all kinds of things, she's always there if I need anything -- they're a terrific family."

Amy Lewis took the work in stride, saying the lasagne was fairly simple -- and quick -- to make.

"I started the lasagne at 7 o'clock this morning and I was here ready to go by 10:15," Lewis said.

First-grade teacher Karen Pursel said Lewis' work was a great example for children, and in line with the holiday season. "The whole meaning of Christmas is giving to others," Pursel said.

And Lewis said that was the best part of it -- knowing the teachers and staff appreciated her work.

"You bet, you bet," Lewis said. "It blesses me to bless others -- absolutely."

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