Serving kindness

It will be a tearful goodbye for Lee Sibille of Salt Springs Elementary School on June 26 when she retires after 32 years of working in the school’s cafeteria.

Sibille started out as a volunteer with the Home and School committee when her kids were attending the school.

“I just lived down the road and my kids came here,” she said. After it became too much for the Home and School to handle, the school hired Sibille for the position and she has been there since.

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Things have come full circle for Sibille as kids who attended the school with her children are now sending their kids to the school. Each of the kids is very appreciative and happy to see her each day she added, which makes working there a treat; she has also developed strong friendships with the staff.

“I’m 65, so I figured it’s time,” she laughed.

Each day, the teachers send down orders to the cafeteria for Sibille for lunches and snacks. She then prioritizes them and gets cooking. She added that her cinnamon rolls are always a hit and upon the announcement of her retirement, several students told her that they would miss her cinnamon rolls.

Last week, the school threw a surprise party for Sibille, who admitted that she was certainly surprised by the celebration. About 150 people turned out to bid her farewell and wish her luck in retirement.

“So many students and even some older students that haven’t been here in a while came,” she said. “It made me feel like, ‘Oh well, they do remember you.’”

Sibille was humbled by the number of current students that came out and former students as well.

“I mean, who remembers their cook at school?” she asked.

Sibille added that she doesn’t think there’s a thank you big enough for her to give everyone.

“I appreciate everything that they’ve done for me,” she said with tears welling up in her eyes. “It’s a very caring school, a very loving school. I landed in a very good spot.”

Lee Sibille and her husband Eric cut the cake at her surprise retirement party last week.

Lee Sibille stands at the cafeteria in Salt Springs Elementary School with one of her famous cinnamon rolls.

(Brimicombe photo)

(Submitted photo)

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.