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Unsung Hero: Turkey is her specialty
Barbara Scott runs the lunchroom at Julia P.
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Barbara Scott is the lunchroom manager at Julia P. Bryant Elementary School. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
      In the cafeteria at Julia P. Bryant Elementary School, Barbara Scott stays busy. She and her crew – Becky, Ruby, Diane, Eddie and Carolyn – cook not only for the almost 700 JPB students and staff but also for the nearby Performance Learning Center students and staff, as well.
      Arriving at 6 a.m., the crew has an hour to get breakfast ready. Then they prepare lunch. After that, they clean up and prepare a snack for the 120 “Our Time” students. Only then does anyone even think of going home.
      Scott lives right around the corner from the school. She has lived here most of her life, as has her mom, Leola Williams. Scott has seven brothers: Edward, John Charles, Charlie Joe, Willie Van, Glenn, Timothy and Roy and four sisters: Gloria, Sandra, Maude and Willie Mae. All but Edward live in the area.
     Scott’s first two jobs were in housekeeping, but when a cook’s job opened up at the old Statesboro High School, she switched careers. After three years at SHS, she transferred over to JPB. When the lunchroom manager retired, Julia P. principal Shawn Haralson convinced her to take the job.
      Scott said, “I told him I don’t know anything about computers, but Mr. Shawn said don’t worry, you’ll learn them later.”
Haralson commented on Scott’s reluctance to take the job: “I saw leadership skills in Miss Barbara that she wasn’t aware of. Her lack of technology skills was a minor thing to me.”
      Haralson continued, “Miss Barbara is an absolute gem, and we are so lucky to have her here at JPB. She is a most kind and caring individual. Once a visiting group commented on how good her cinnamon buns were, and before they left she had fixed up a big bag for them to take with them.”
      Scott declared: “I’m a grandma to a lot of them because they might not have one at home.” Continuing with a smile, she added that “When the older kids see me around town, they come running up, give me a hug and say, ‘Hi! I know you. Are you still at JPB?’”
Scott’s reputation is growing citywide. Last year 1,400 people came by to have Thanksgiving Dinner at JPB. Her crew is famous for their oh-so-scrumptious roast turkey and dressing. Principal Haralson said: “There were so many people here we had to turn the gymnasium into a second cafeteria.”
      He continued, “We served for over two hours. On top of that, another 40 people came by to pick up pans of the dressing for Thanksgiving dinner at their homes. I won’t be surprised if we feed 1,700 this year.”
      Scott said about working at JPB: “You can’t treat it like a job. You’ve got to take care of your children because they are our future. You can’t protect them all, but you certainly can help a few.” 
      Asked what her future, Scott replied, “I haven’t missed a day of work in nearly four years because there’s nowhere else I would rather be. I love what I do.”

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