By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Going to work is no chore for one longtime food service worker at Pinkerton Academy.
Jean Price was honored last week not only on her 80th birthday, but also for her many years of service to the school — 43 years and going strong.
Students and Pinkerton staff members honored Price with a special poster, illustrating her many years of service in photos. They also gave the popular woman a day full of birthday greetings and hugs.
For Price, coming to work in the school’s Shepard cafeteria every day is something she treasures. She not only gets to see the students and coworkers, but she is carrying on her love of the Academy.
Price graduated from Pinkerton in 1952 and was a standout student, athlete and school supporter. She is a member of Pinkerton’s Hall of Fame for her years of service.
The Shepard cafe is named in her honor, “The Price is Right Cafe.”
“I just love the kids,” Price said.
She is in her element as she scans students’ identification cards to pay for their lunch. Many still remember Price calling out, “Put your money down!” as they passed through the line with their sandwiches and salads.
“Many of us remember her famous saying when we would line up to pay for lunch, which she still does today,” said Linda Desmarais, Shepard office worker and a 1987 Pinkerton graduate. “She is funny, perky and a loyal supporter of all the students in all they do. She is literally Pinkerton’s biggest fan.”
Tiffany Eaton is Price’s granddaughter. The Pinkerton junior said she enjoys seeing her grandmother on a daily basis.
“She’s friendly, funny and always putting everybody in a good mood,” Tiffany said.
Shepard building office worker Kathleen McEachern is a 1981 Pinkerton graduate. She said Price is up to date on all things Pinkerton, keeping up with sports teams and scores.
“She goes to football games, basketball games,” she said. “For away games, I had to call her at halftime to give her the scores.”
Pinkerton staff member Anne Parker said Price has had a huge effect on many students during her decades on the job, including herself when she was a Pinkerton student.
“She has brightened so many people’s lives and I don’t think she ever realizes it,” Parker said. “She loved Pinkerton so much she came back.”
That effect is far reaching.
“When I’m 80, I want to be just like her on all levels,” cafeteria worker Donna Pesaturo said. “She makes me happy.”