Godwin — The bell rang and Charlotte M. Schullo immediately exited the kitchen area of West Godwin Elementary to head to the lunchroom where she stood by the condiments.
“I have a friend that, if I am not there in the lunchroom, he waits for me to go out,” said the 90-year-old.
She was talking about second-grader Carlos Moreno Alonzo, who likes routine, according to his aide. He is used to seeing Schullo, often referred to as Grandma Char, in the lunchroom when he comes in.
A person of few words, Carlos’ eyes lit up and he gave a big smile at the mention of Grandma Char.
Looking For Something To Do
Upon retiring from Dekker Bookbinding, a local bookmaker where Schullo worked for 30 years, she started looking around for something to do.
“It beats sitting home and watching the television all day,” she said.
She decided to apply to Chartwells, which oversees the food service at Godwin and several other districts. She lives in Wyoming, and was assigned to West Godwin 10 years ago.
“I love being with the children,” said Schullo, who has two daughters, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
“They are so much smarter than I ever was. They are so interesting and so knowledgeable that sometimes I feel like I am standing in a whirlwind of fun.”
Ask the students if they know Grandma Char and they don’t always recognize her name, but point her out and you get comments of “She’s kind” and “She’s nice.” Or “She always helps me with my ketchup.”
“Char is a great worker,” said Linda Rigney, lunchroom lead. “She is always willing to do whatever is needed to get lunch out.”
Schullo does mostly prep work such as filling condiment and silverware containers. Rigney added at times she will help assemble hamburgers, which can total around 380. Schullo also wipes tables between lunch periods and helps with cleanup.
Godwin Heights Food Director Jamie Schumaker said Schullo works about four hours a day, Monday through Friday.
“She rarely misses a day,” Schumaker said. “When she does, the students are asking where she is.”
Special Orders Don’t Upset Her
A recent meal featured corn dogs and fries with condiments of ranch, mayonnaise and ketchup.
“I tell the students to call me Grandma because everybody loves their grandma,” Schullo told a visitor.
Second-grader Harley Longstreet asked Schullo a question, and Schullo left the condiment station briefly and disappeared into the kitchen, returning with two mustard bottles.
“She must have had a special request,” Schumaker said.
Schullo returned to the waiting student and squirted mustard on her tray.
“Are you good?” she asked Harley, who nodded and walked away as Schullo resumed her condiment duties.