Community members, former staff and alumni gathered last week for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the Fowler Elementary School cafeteria.

The lunch is held each year before the Thanksgiving break to honor the school’s former staff and students, as well as members of the community who have worked with the school.

“It’s a really wonderful tradition,” said Debbie Drever, Fowler’s principal. “It’s a way to show the people of our community that we appreciate what they do.”

The invited guests were treated to a meal prepared by the school’s cafeteria staff. It featured turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy and a slice of pumpkin pie.

Eva Grignon, who worked as the school’s cafeteria manager for 38 years before retiring in 2009, said she estimated the tradition began in the ’70s.

“It was really just a way of saying thank you,” she said.

This year, many of those invited were former staff, including three principals.

“It’s really great to see everyone again and catch up,” said Sue Cummings, who was Fowler’s principal from 2005 to 2007. “This is a tradition we’ve had for many, many years, and it’s something we all look forward to.”

The school also welcomed some of its alumni to the festivities.

“There’s something very special about this place,” said Kakie Shea, who attended Fowler in 1967. “Every time I walk through the doors, it feels the same now as it did back then.”

Shea, who said her daughter also attended Fowler, now volunteers at the school.

“I think the fact that we really care about the children and the school brings us together,” she said. “It’s like a family.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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