Retired lunch aid dedicated to students

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mary Starling is truly an employee that understands and embodies the meaning behind the starfish story. She loves each and every one of our students, and understands that to each one, she can and does make a difference.

Mary Starling

Mary Starling

“Miss Mary” retired from Dowagiac Union Schools on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, where she worked as a lunch aide since 1979.

However, she is not leaving the Patrick Hamilton family. Instead, Miss Mary returns the very next school day working for Sodexo, the food service program. She will still continue to be a part of our children’s lives, as she has been for so many years.

We are thrilled that she is making this transition and grateful to still have her as part of our Dowagiac family.

“There is nobody in our district that knows and works with our kids with such love and patience as Miss Mary,” said Dawn Conner, Deputy Superintendent. “She has given 36 plus years of care and dedication to the district, and the fact that she will continue to work for the food service program with our students is just a testament of how special and dedicated she is.”

“Mary is a joy to have in our building,” said Cindy Bennett, building secretary. “I have never seen her in a bad mood. She comes every day prepared to put a smile on everyone’s faces.”

Miss Mary has transitioned through many eras and generations of families and Patrick Hamilton has been blessed to be on the receiving end of her many years of wisdom and kindness. Although she will remain in our building employed through our food service program, we wish her well in her journey to this next stage of her professional career.


Heather Nash

Principal, Patrick Hamilton Elementary