It takes an army to raise a child and Barbourville Independent could not do their part without many people making each puzzle piece throughout the day fit, including those “behind the scenes.”
Dianna Wagers, a Heidrick native, has dedicated fourteen years of her life to Barbourville Independent. She originally worked in the school’s daycare for one year, then tried being an aid before she found a position in the cafeteria that truly helped her focus on her passion: taking care of the students.
“In the cafeteria, I got to be with all of the little kids and I love to cook so it just threw it all together there,” said Wagers.
After thirteen years working in the cafeteria, Wagers has seen it all and done it all. Currently, she wears multiple hats to make the day go as smoothly as possible for the students.
“I monitor all the little kids and then the high school and junior high. I do some janitorial work after that. I take garbage out, help mop, clean the windows, that kind of stuff. The basics,” continued Wagers. “So I’m a janitor, a cook, a monitor and I run the computers.”
Wagers even supervises new meal plans at the school, making life easier on BIS students. For example, Wagers is one of the first to arrive to school in the morning as she prepares “grab and go” breakfast bags for the high school students.
“I take it over there to them as they come in to go to school. They can just grab it and go on. I think they like it better,” said Wagers. “They are on the run and don’t always make it over [for breakfast].”
Wagers does all of her hard work for the kids. To her, they make the day worthwhile.
“I love them to death…We’re the first faces they see in the morning. It’s good to know the kids had love that day and someone cared about them. Of the morning, you can hug one of their necks and they’re so happy. You’ve made their day.”
Wagers believes this is truly her calling in life and that there is no other job out there for her.
“I don’t think I would rather work anywhere else. When I quit my [previous] job, I wasn’t going to take another job. Then I came over here and I met those kids…I’ve got some that calls me Nana. These kids are so important to me,” said Wagers.
The kids may be important to Wagers, but her work at the school is undeniably important as well, oftentimes making her and the cafeteria staff the heartbeat of the school. Without proper nutrition, students have trouble focusing in the classroom. Wagers and her coworkers make sure every single child at BIS gets the food and attention they need, proving once again Barbourville is a huge family looking out for each other.
“I make sure they get plenty [of food]. If one comes to me and says their hungry, I’ll make sure they get more food. I’m just that way,” continued Wagers. “I love everybody here and I love all of the workers with me. They’re all wonderful and we all try to be together.”