Button Gwinnett Elementary School has a new set of faces going through the lunch line every year. But one face has been behind the lunch counter for 36 years.
School nutrition employee Leroy Brown started working for BGE in 1977. In his early 20s, he began as a school bus driver before putting his love of cooking to good use and joining the nutrition staff in the cafeteria.
Brown said he loves coming to work every day. It’s relaxing and less stressful than driving a school bus, he said. Plus, the hours are a lot better, which allows him to do other things he is passionate about.
“I love the kids and my co-workers,” Brown said. “The little guys are the best, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have a job.”
Brown’s typical day starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., but, according to his co-workers, Brown comes in with a smile, stays busy and rarely sits down. Standard school breaks during holidays and summers typically are the only days Brown takes off.
Staying busy keeps a person young, he said.
“I love knowing that I have a part in providing a nutritious meal to feed the kids,” he said. “Even if it is just a small part, I like knowing that.”
Cafeteria manager Paula Butler said Brown is very humble and a good citizen. He never frowns and does what he has to do without complaint, she said.
“The entire staff enjoys working with him,” Butler said. “I really appreciate him and the hard work he does every day and so does everyone else, because he helps everyone whenever and wherever it’s needed.”