EDISON, N.J. – A New Jersey high school brought in its marching band, choir and cheerleaders to celebrate the 95th birthday of a lunch lady who served generations of students.
Evelyn Kiss, who has been working at the cafeteria at Edison's J.P. Stevens High School since it opened in 1964, greeted students and teachers near the cafeteria exit during each lunch period on Tuesday.
Kiss told the Home News Tribune she took the job a half-century ago because she had never worked in a kitchen and was intrigued by what the experience could offer her. She wakes up at 5 a.m. every day, arrives to work early and spends time with other workers before getting ready for lunch duty.
"There is never a dull moment," Kiss said. "You come in and the young people are really always happy. It makes you feel young. After that, I just wanted to come back every year and meet them all."
Colleagues said Kiss insists on coming to work even when she's sick — a trait that inspires students and staff around her.
"I can't imagine her age still working at 95, so I find her an inspiration," said Kim Carpenter, a cafeteria worker who has spent 11 years working with Kiss. "If she can go to work, I can get up, too. She leaves her problems at home and does her job. If the rest of us do half as good a job as she does, we'd be lucky."
Kiss said she'll keep coming back each year to keep working, as long as she can walk.