On the Serving Line in the Rutherford County Schools

Jan 27, 2022 at 10:50 am by WGNS


“At the end of the day we buckle down and get it done,” Sydney Hurst said. 

These are a few of the many strengths of the Christiana Middle School cafeteria crew: hard working, caring and connected. Hurst has been working and serving food at Christiana Middle as an employee since 2019.

Eric Smith, RCS School Nutrition director, called Hurst a superstar. He recalls how she stepped in to fill multiple roles during a particularly challenging day. 

“About 60 percent of the school was down. The entire cafeteria staff went down with COVID. It was me, two people from central office and Sydney. She picked up everything right away —did everything we needed her to do. She was amazing.”

Hurst originally applied for the job with very little experience in nutrition but has become an integral member of the nutrition team at Christian Middle.

“I put in for (the job) because my youngest went to kindergarten, and I had been home with her. At the time, my oldest was here (at Christiana Middle).”

Scroll down to continue reading this story and to learn about the county schools hiring cafeteria workers at $14+ per hour...



That ability to connect with her daughter and work in the same building was a unique opportunity for Hurst. She explained how, for her, it provided an opportunity to see her daughter daily and hold a steady job.  

“I’m on the serving line, so I get to talk with students when they come through. When my daughter was here, I had good relationships with students. On her birthday I was able to bring in stuff to give to the vice principals. The whole cafeteria sang happy birthday to her,” Hurst said. 

While her daughter was the initial reason for applying, Hurst remained at Christiana Middle even after her daughter’s graduation from middle school. She stayed because of how great the crew was, she explained, and the convenient schedule.

“When I started, I was working four hours. We had a couple of crew members leave, I stepped in and took 5½. I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to do with the kids during summers or fall break or Christmas break.”

While working on the serving line, Hurst also has the opportunity to make connections with the students she serves.

“These kids are super sweet kids. You have to step back and think — they’re still babies. I know some of these kids may not get anything other than what we give them, and they’re extremely grateful. Even if you don’t have a 1-1 relationship.” 

One of the things Hurst wants those who are applying to know: be receptive. Be open to learning new skills. 

“If you’re thinking about applying,” Hurst said, “but don’t because you might not have (food service) experience, it’s not a necessity. If it works for your schedule and what you need — go for it.” 

Rutherford County Schools in Need of 50+ Cafeteria Workers:

• From WGNS Radio: Read the past WGNS News Story on the need for cafeteria workers HERE
• From the Rutherford County Schools:  RELATED: RCS hiring 50+ cafeteria workers starting at $14+ per hour 

Currently, RCS is looking to hire at least 50 new cafeteria workers across the system. There are multiple positions available, including positions at Blackman High, Christiana Middle, Smyrna Middle and more. For the most current job postings related to nutrition and to complete an application, visit the RCS website HERE.


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