After 22 years at Vacherie school, Steib says she’s ready to retire

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / September 3, 2000

VACHERIE – For over 22 years Madeline Steib has been a part of the lives of the children who have passed through the cafeteria of Vacherie Elementary School. “I’m a food technician, which is a fancy name for a cook,” Steib said smiling.

She’s just about ready to call it quits.

Steib may be a little embarrassed of the attention she receiving with her imminent retirement, but things like this are important. Who can forget the cafeteria workers who served you a school every day. In many ways they’re just as an important part of one’s days spent at school as one’s teachers and school bus drivers.

Steib started working when one of her daughters was in school at Vacherie Elementary and has seen her first grandchild come through.

“I’ve always had nieces and nephews running through here,” said Steib. “Ithas always been a treat to see them. They and the other little kids are always coming up and asking ‘T-mae, can have a quarter for the vending machine?'” and making other requests, she said. “The kids will miss me when I’m gone,” and she will miss them, she added.

“I’ve always liked working here. We’ve had good managers,” said Steib,crediting her enjoyment to retired manager Annabelle Gravois and current manager Melinda Howard.

Also working side by side with her have been Joanne Scioneaux for 16 years and Lillian Granier for 10 years. “She’s always been our consultant. We come to her for our problems,” said Scioneaux.

Steib is glad to retire.

“I’ll miss the people, but not getting up at 4:30 a.m. so I can be here by 6,”she said with a wink. Now her plans are to hang around the house. “I’ll find something to do,” she said. Her friends slyly offer some ideas, but Steib waves them off with a way that shows they’ve had fun teasing each other over the years.

Steib is glad to have a little more time for her family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her daughter Paulette, living in California, now owesher a trip to Disneyland. Many would say Paulette wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love her with all my heart. I’m very blessed to have as beautiful a mother as her. Thank you for being who you are, and whom you’ve made me to be, aspecial young woman just like you,” said Paulette.

Most parents and kids would have the same kind words of gratitude for Steib. No one like her can work for 22 year serving the children of Vacherieand not bless them as she’s blessed her own family.

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