Opaa! Food Management announced that Odessa School District food service employee Barbara Terrill has been selected as the recipient of its Employee of the Year Award for the 2005-06 school year. Barbara was presented the award during an all staff meeting on May 16, 2006, by Opaa! President Kevin Short, Opaa! Executive Vice President Robert Sanders, Vice President for Operations Sheila Middleton, and Regional Director of Operations Janie Fritter.

Barbara was selected for this award from among Opaa!'s 1,300 employees throughout the State of Missouri. Barbara began working for Opaa! in Odessa in April, 2003 as a substitute cook after working 21 years and retiring from food service work at St. Mary's Hospital in Blue Springs. After substituting in every kitchen in the district, Barbara is now the baker at the high school. Vice President for Operations, Sheila Middleton, described Barbara as a person who is great on the serving line because of her love of the students and her infectious laughter.

Bonnie Timmerberg, Opaa!'s Director of Nutrition Services in Odessa, talked of Barbara and the outstanding job that she does at the high school by saying that "she produces a quality product and cares about what she does. Her jolly personality has changed the entire atmosphere of the serving line. It's gone from just student coming in to get their lunches to the sounds of laughter and teasing. She puts the students first and is always concerned about any student or staff member having to wait for their lunch. She truly helps to 'Make Their Day' on a regular basis."

Executive Vice President Robert Sanders began the meeting by describing the Employee of the Year selection process and how it included written nominations from fellow employees with details of outstanding job performance, demonstrated leadership and initiative, and a genuine commitment to customer service. Sanders noted the significance of the award since it comes from nominations from her peer group.

In addition to the awards presented by Opaa! Food Management representatives, Barbara received a bouquet of flowers from the student council, notes of congratulations from a history class to whom she had spoken about the Holocaust, and was serenaded by a quartet from the high school. Superintendent of Schools, Sandra Sloan, and High School Principal, Pete Rorvig, both addressed the positive attitude and dedication of Barbara and the entire staff and how great a contribution they make to the school atmosphere.

Barbara and her husband Dale live just outside Odessa and have two children, Tammy and Charlie who both graduated from Odessa High School. The Terrill's have three grandchildren, Steven, Douglas and Hanna. Barbara met her husband in Germany where she grew up and came to the United States in 1968. When she is not working at school, Barbara enjoys working in her flower garden, knitting, sewing and taking care of her grandchildren in her spare time. Barbara stated "I couldn't believe it. I couldn't stop crying. It was a big, big surprise. I just love working with the kids-we just love to laugh and have fun".

Opaa! Food Management, Inc., is based in Chesterfield, Missouri, and currently provides nutrition services to 52 Missouri school districts. Opaa! has been providing services to the Odessa School District since 1994.