by Jared DeVries
One staff member all students who take the school lunch appreciate is Manager/Head Cook of PCHS food service Bonnie Van Wyngarden. This has probably been true for the 28 years that she has worked here. Even though this is what most students know her for, there is much more to Van Wyngarden than just food prep.
Van Wyngarden graduated from PCHS in 1972. After that, she attended Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in Des Moines. In 1975, she graduated from there as a registered nurse. The next part of her life was spent as a stay at home mom with four sons to take care of. Her decision to work part-time led her to PC. “PC was just beginning the hot lunch program, and I felt it would be a great fit for me,” said Van Wyngarden.
Van Wyngarden has a multitude of tasks that she must complete during her day. She must plan menus, buy the food, fill out forms for the state, and help with the food preparations. Some foods Bonnie will generally make herself, such as the soups. While she most dislikes the paperwork required from the state, there are many aspects of her work she loves. “My favorite part of my job are the students and the relationships I have had with them over the years,” she said.
Van Wyngarden and her husband Warren have four sons. All their sons are married and now have children of their own. She now has 11 grandchildren, with two more expected in 2018, and one of her sons and his family is in the process of adoption. “I love to read, spend time with friends, and my most favorite activity is spending time with my grandchildren,” said Van Wyngarden.
She also attempts to do her job with her faith always in mind. She believes that anything from a kind word to a smile can help make someone’s day and show that she cares about them. “I want those that I come in contact with to be able, in some large or small way, to see Jesus in me,” said Van Wyngarden.