School honors favorite cook of nearly 40 years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

School honors favorite cook of nearly 40 years

PORTAGEVILLE, MO (KFVS) - The Portageville School District honored a hard-working, but often overlooked employee on Tuesday, May 12.

Miss Maude, the school's favorite lunch lady, got a surprise she never saw coming from the students she serves every day.

For 39 years, Maude Conrad, or “Miss Maude” as the students call her, has served up lunch food to generations of kids.

Always with a smile on her face.

“She always hooks me up with extra fries and she makes our day better during lunch,” said one student.

Her charm and big heart is what keeps students asking for seconds.

“She makes everybody's day brighter,” said another student.

Students in grades kindergarten through 12, with the help of OPAA Food Management, wanted to make sure her hard work didn't go unnoticed.

“Miss Maude” was nominated and then chosen among 2,500 candidates from 135 schools out of four states as "Employee of the year."

The best part? She had no idea.

The entire school district, staff and her family surprised her with the biggest "Thank You" during an assembly.

“My heart is full of joy,” said Maude Conrad.

Miss Maude was awarded a certificate, a pin and two checks for her success.

After all of the excitement, she's said she's just happy to have found her dream job.

“It's like a big family, so much love,” she said.

Maude Conrad was also among 10 employees selected as a regional winner.

Her family includes 10 brothers and sisters, 18 grandkids and one great-grandchild.

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