Hinesburg Community School
Wendy Munsell, a Hinesburg Community School food service employee extraordinaire, was decked out in a festive holiday apron when we caught up with her in the cafeteria. As she shepherded students through the serving line she was quick to answer their questions about what they were having for lunch and where they could find the condiments and silverware. “I love preparing and serving food for the students here,” she said beaming with pride. “Being a part of the atmosphere at this school among the children is what nourishes me day in and day out,” she said.
Munsell has been working in Hinesburg School’s kitchen off and on since 2002. “Wendy goes above and beyond her duties and is always excited to start the day and make students feel welcome,” said Deb Bissonette, Hinesburg’s school’s cafeteria manager. “The students want to eat the lunch she has prepared for them. She is truly dedicated, kind, and smart and has a keen understanding of how we can make a difference for our students. And her peers look to her for guidance when needed.”
Munsell’s day in the kitchen begins at 7 a.m. Preparing and serving breakfast is first on her agenda. Then following a bit of dish washing, she can often be found chopping fruit, vegetables and meats for a variety of soups. Some of her specialties include: chicken gumbo, cream of broccoli, clam chowder and corn chowder. “Wendy is my right hand person,” said Bissonette. “She has a handle on what’s in the freezer and how we can make good use of our leftovers.” Outside of the school, Munsell serves as a caregiver to her husband who has some significant physical challenges. Her extended family is a big part of her life – she has five grandchildren and thrives on spending time with them and preparing foods they all will enjoy.