Retiree returns to Clinton school to put a smile on kids’ faces

Ms. Dot Dabney was a staple at Clinton Middle Schools for years.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 9:52 PM EDT
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CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) - Ms. Dot Dabney was a staple at Clinton Middle Schools for years before she retired, but she’s back again this year.

The former nutrition service manager came out of retirement ready to put a smile on kids’ faces during one of the toughest school years in recent memory.

“Because I didn’t want to just sit at home and do nothing all the time,” said Dabney.

Dabney retired a couple years ago. But she told her former boss whenever she was needed to just give her a holler. “She hollered,” laughed Dabney.

Dabney starts at seven every morning, preparing breakfast and lunch for students at Grand Oaks Elementary School in Anderson County.

But there’s something different about being back. It’s not just the extra precautions like wearing a mask and sanitizing more. She’s working with her daughter. Meagan Lane also works as a cook at the school. “I’m very blessed with it actually because a lot of people they don’t get to work with their family members,” said Lane.

But the family roots grow deeper, Dabney’s granddaughter is a fourth grader at the school, too.

“It makes me feel like home because they’re always here,” said Ryleigh Dabney. As students came to get their lunch, Dabney served them.

Dabney and her daughter are making a difference one meal at a time.

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