Every year, Lapeer Community Schools, in cooperation with the District’s employee groups, recognizes the best of our staff. In lieu of our typical employee awards banquet, we will honor each award winner individually.
Setting aside the love students at Schickler Elementary have for her chicken and pizza, one student gave her compliments to the chef this way: “The whole school loves her.”
Another student said that everyone at school wants to be friends with her.
“She is loyal to her job and she always does her best,” she said. “Did I mention that she’s one of my best friends?”
That, in short, is how the staff and students of Schickler Elementary feel about Teri LaJoie, the school’s head cook — she’s a “beautiful soul.”
One of her fellow staff members said Teri is vital to the vibrant community that has been cultivated at Schickler. Another said she makes the family at Schickler “complete.”
Any way you slice it, Teri is beloved at her school because she cares about every student she serves every day. It’s hard to have a bad day in Teri’s kitchen.
A former supervisor said Teri has made her role as head cook into much more than what’s written in her job description.
“She’s built positive relationships with students and cares for their needs,” he said. “In the past, she would often use her own money to cover lunches for students who would otherwise receive a cheese sandwich due to owing money.”
This led Teri to help start the school’s Angel Fund, supported by individuals and local good-will organizations, to assist students with lunch debts.
Another colleague said Teri would do anything she could for anyone who needed help. She goes out of her way to make sure students see a smiling face and hear an encouraging word every day. She’s also been known to come in to help and support students and staff even when she’s not on the clock.
“She does little things like decorating the cafeteria and kitchen area with her own decorations,” she said. “We all laugh, cry, talk and vent and she is always there to help us through whatever we may be dealing with.”
For her outstanding contributions to the students and staff of Lapeer Community Schools, we recognize Teri LaJoie. Thank you!