Honoring service within the LT community

Patti Musgrove earns Classified Staff Member of the Year for her dedication to LN students during the pandemic


Some students come to school knowing that the meals they receive there will be the only meals they eat that day. When school went virtual in March 2020 due to COVID-19, many questioned how students would still get the meals they needed from LN. Patti Musgrove, LN’s Cafeteria Manager, recognized this problem and stepped up.

“By that Monday she had designed a plan where people could come out, pick up five big meals out front, and they did that every week. [The cafeteria staff] came in and packed them. They were the only people here,” Principal Brett Crousore said.

Even though most of the work Musgrove did was behind the scenes, Crousore recognized her dedication and awarded her Classified Staff Member of the Year.

“I’m honored. I’m very, very honored,” Musgrove said.

Tasha Smith, Cook and Head Cashier of the cafeteria, worked alongside Musgrove to supply LN families with meals.

“We would come in and pack the lunches up. Five entrees, five fruits, five vegetables and juice and milk. Get them ready, bag them up, take them out there and put them into other people’s cars. We prepared them on Thursday or Friday and came to pass them out on Monday,” Smith said.

During quarantine, unemployment rates skyrocketed and many parents needed to stay home to take care of children no longer in school. Musgrove worked knowing she was making a difference for not only students, but parents as well.

“I love helping people out, anyway I can. [I felt] wonderful,” Musgrove said. “Our staff is wonderful here in the cafeteria. We work as a team and there’s 19 of us. It’s a pretty amazing team.”

However, packing lunches was not the only change in Musgrove’s work. Without the school returning to full capacity, the amount of food being sold in the cafeteria changed. Musgrove also had to develop a plan for Fridays, where teachers could bring their children in.

“This year has been crazy because as [students] have come and gone she’s had to really organize and manage how we do food so we don’t waste food. They need to be able to provide for students, families, teachers’ families,” Crousore said.

Throughout the many challenges she has faced, Musgrove has kept a smile on her face and a positive attitude. She accepted the need for change and continues to work hard.

“Patti doesn’t complain about what she’s asked to do if Mr. Crousore needs anything. As far as the kids and the food goes, she doesn’t complain about what she has to do,” Smith said.

Musgrove and her staff have continued to pass lunches out at Door 16 on Fridays even with classes back in person. She is dedicated to helping LN students and their families.

“Those are just different things that sometimes get lost. That group that helped maintain the building and kept track of things,” Crousore said. “Loyalty, dedication, love of children. That’s what she is.”