Melody Lockhart

Ms. Jaye

Lee County Public Schools (FL)

I started working at Riverdale High School 5 years ago.  As an Alumni and parent of the high school I wanted to make a difference in these students lives.  Fast forward to 2 years ago, 2020. My oldest daughter was heading off to college at UF, the pandemic hit, and I was diagnosed with double breast cancer.  After recovering from a double mastectomy, I went back to work and continued my treatment with 34 rounds of radiation while working.  These students PUSHED me every day!!! They raised thousands of dollars to help me while I was off work, text and called daily, and wrote me notes of encouragement. Sometimes WE need these students as much as they NEED US. 

I am still currently in remission and continuing to feed the children of our future.  I am very involved in extracurricular activities with our students, attending many state competitions in our school athletics dept, working Friday night football games, cheering our students on from many sideline games.  Students don’t only need to see us be present while serving them lunch, they look forward to seeing us at games and matches and just asking how their day was.

I have started Fun Fridays in the cafe at Riverdale.  After serving about 200 -300 kids personally myself a day we also need that mental break, so on Fridays once every student is fed, I then bust out my props and we take selfies!!! The kids absolutely LOVE fun Fridays and look forward to my crazy shenanigans.  I need these kids as much as they need an adult to be there for them!!! Our children sometimes just want a hot meal and an adult who will listen to them.  I can honestly say I have worked in the corporate world and needed something more fulfilling for a career, working for the food and nutrition program for Lee County Schools has been the most rewarding career I have had the privilege to work for. Thank you!!!

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