Biloxi cafeteria manager surprised by regional honor

Biloxi cafeteria manager surprised by regional honor

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi cafeteria manager beat out thousands of others to win a huge honor. Now she has her sights set on the national prize.

The phone call came out of the blue. It was the middle of the summer and Barbara Bosarge was preparing for her third year as the manager of Popp's Ferry Elementary's cafeteria. The call was in invitation to a regional banquet in Atlanta for cafeteria workers, and Bosarge was going to be a guest of honor. She was flown out to Atlanta.

"They took me to the Omni Hotel, treated me like royalty, then they got me over to the banquet," said Bosarge.

Little did she know that that's where she would be handed the "Be A Star Associate of the Year" award, beating out thousands of other workers from seven states throughout the southeast.

"It hasn't set in yet," she said.

The award, presented by Chartwells, is based on excellence in child nutrition. That's something on which Bosarge prides herself. But, she said, she hasn't found her success alone.

"Had it not been for all the women and men that work with me at the cafeteria, I could not have pulled off everything that I pulled off," said Bosarge.

According to Bosarge, it's her love for the children that drives her every day. She said she provides meals daily for many children who may not have otherwise eaten. It's something that keeps her going. Which is an attribute that her boss, Cindy Cowan, doesn't take for granted.

"She makes my job easy," said Cowan.

Cowan loves seeing Bosarge go the extra mile doing things to get the kids excited to be healthy. That's why Cowan spent the last school year compiling data in a portfolio to submit Bosarge for the honor.

"She is the example of Popp's Ferry proud because she does everything with pride," said Cowan.

But to Bosarge, it's simply fulfilling her purpose.

"This is me and this is what I like to do," she said.

Bosarge will be sent to the national awards banquet for the Be A Star campaign sometime in the near future. She doesn't know when or where that will be, but she hopes to come home with the top honor.

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