Blountstown High School ‘lunch room hero’ honored

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - For many students at Blountstown High School, the first person they see in the morning is Sandra Dudley.

“It’s important to see that smile on her face, she always has a smile on her face,” Principal Tracy Wood said. “She talks to them as they come through the lunch line.”

To both students and employees, Dudley is more than just a lunch lady.

“She knows the students by name, and talks to them daily and looks after them,” Wood said.

For Dudley, though, her job isn’t just about cooking and serving meals, it’s about taking care of her students.

“I love the kids,” Dudley said. “I look forward to seeing them every day, every morning and feeding them and just uplifting them for school, for their education.”

Even if she doesn’t know every student by name, Dudley said she knows all of their faces.

“I can tell some days, you know, when some of them are really going through some things, and I’ll say, ‘Are you alright this morning? It’ll get better, you’re gone be alright,’” Dudley said.

After 16 years of serving the students at Blountstown High School, Dudley was honored Friday by the Department of Agriculture for being a ‘lunch room hero.’

Dudley received countless cards from the students, posters and a $2,000 check for being one of just five ‘luch room heros’ in the state.

“I was very surprised,” Dudley said. “I’m happy.”

Her coworkers, current students and even former students spoke on her behalf.

“If you don’t have a Sandra Dudley in your life, you’re missing out, I’m here to tell you,” one co-worker said at the ceremony.

As she continues to serve breakfast, lunch and love every day, she is making a difference that goes far beyond a high school lunch room.

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