Laurens County School District 55 is proud to announce that Ms. Nancy Knight is honored as one of the 2023 School Nutrition Association (SNA) of South Carolina Hall of Fame Inductees at their 70th Annual State Conference and Exposition. The conference was held October 12-14, 2023, at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Hotel and Convention Center.
Ms. Nancy Knight, affectionately called “Mama Knight” by many, worked in the School Nutrition profession for 50 years serving the students of Laurens School District 55 delicious meals. She began her career as a substitute cafeteria operator. She did this for 7 years.She then was hired as a permanent employee in 1976 at Hickory Tavern School. She continued her career and became a cafeteriamanager in 1986. Her superintendent at the time asked her to transfer to Sanders School for one year, then she would return to Hickory Tavern and remain there for the next 32 years, until her retirement in 2020.
She has seen many changes in the child nutrition programs including more regulations, stronger food safety guidelines, and computers. Nancy will share stories of the early days when they would fry everything. There was no breakfast served in the district until theearly 1990’s. They did not have an ice machine in the earlier years and would have to chop big blocks of ice with an ice pick. They cooked everything from scratch. Her starting pay was $1.25 an hour. She loved serving her students and reminisces about serving children, their children, their grandchildren, and some great grandchildren. She enjoyed seeing the students come into the cafeteria daily. Later in her career they calledher “Grandma”. Nancy has always had a passion and dedication for serving the best meals possible to the students. Making sure allstudents were treated kindly and given lots of love and attention.
Nancy has also attended every SNA of SC conference since she became a manager in 1986 and continues to do so even in retirement. She has also attended many SNA National Conferences and continues to travel to those each year with her daughter, Wanda Knight. Nancy truly enjoyed making the students happy and worked hard to provide the best meals even in challenging personal and professional times.
After enjoying the many years of dedicated food service work, Mama Knight now helps take care of three great grandchildren, Ross-6,Stella-3, and Willis-2½. She also enjoys cooking Sunday dinner for her family.