Ellis teachers thanked with home cooking

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, May 28, 2011

Parents Lidia Montano, left, going clockwise, Sara Ortiz, Patricia Lopez, Rufana Castanedo and Fabiola prepare an appreciation lunch for the Ellis Middle School staff Friday. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The smell of good old fashioned home style cooking wafted through the Ellis Middle School cafeteria and auditorium Friday. Laid out on several tables in front of the auditorium stage was all the good food people would expect to find: There was tortillas, refried beans, salads, several types of chicken, vegetables and a couple flan dishes.

It was the feast every Ellis staff member looks forward to every year. It was the annual lunch put on by Hispanic parents grateful to teachers for instructing their children.

“We want to give some attention to them and say thank you,” said Lidia Montano, one of the parents responsible for putting on the lunch.

Principal secretary Suzanne McCarthy goes through the line, taking part in a lunch put on by several Hispanic parents in appreciation of the Ellis Middle School staff Friday. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

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For the past four years, parents have banded together at Ellis to give thanks to the staff by preparing food for almost 100 people. It takes a lot of coordination by Raquel Imbert, Ellis success coach, who asks for volunteers a couple of weeks before the end of school to help out or prepare dishes.

“They’re very generous,” Imbert said of the parents.

The staff certainly appreciate the gesture.

“This meal (is something) I look forward to every year,” said Kevin Anderson, school psychologist. “They are very generous and they’re good cooks. Their appreciation is heartfelt and it’s very wonderful for the staff.”

This year, the staff got extra goodies, including their own spicy pepper plants from parents thanking them for all they do.

“It’s a way to say thank you for all they do for our kids,” said Siria Sandoval.