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Schools Rule: Lansing Catholic lunch lady has 40-year tenure at the school

She’s a Lansing Catholic alum too, which contributes to her passion of being there the last four decades.
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There is someone special at Lansing Catholic High School -- a woman whose job means so much to her. Margaret Costigan is the longest tenured employee at the school.

“I have worked in the school lunch program here at Lansing Catholic for 40 years now,” Margaret Costigan said.

40 years doing a job that’s never felt like work. She first studied Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State, taught in MSU’s food labs, and then came to Lansing Catholic to lead its food services department.

“I love this field of work because where there’s food there’s people and I do love to be around people,” Costigan said. “That’s what drew me into the field to begin with.”

Food, people, but also family are what’s important Costigan. She’s a Lansing Catholic alum too, which all contribute to her passion of being there the last four decades.

“I’ve seen children and grandchildren of friends and former classmates coming through the school, watching them grow,” Costigan said. “It’s amazing.”

Her impact on students and the school is felt by many.

“I think the biggest thing is Margaret cares and that comes through in the way she interacts with people, the questions she asks, and just that smile,” Doug Moore said, Lansing Catholic Alumni Relations Director. “She wants to make sure everybody’s doing okay.”

“She’s really good with the kids and they come through and she helps them out whatever way she can,” Thomas Lorenz said, a Lansing Catholic Custodian of 39 years.

But what’s her favorite thing about the job? Being a cashier so she can talk with each student that comes through her lunch line.

“To interact with them and if somebody looks like they’re having a rough day it’s a great time to just maybe give them a smile, a kind word, something that will maybe lift their spirits... and they lift mine also,” Costigan said. “It’s a good combination.”

Costigan says she wouldn’t change her career path for anything.

“I’m grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to have the job and grateful for the ability to serve that long because it’s been a great experience,” Costigan said.

Costigan says she will continue to stay at Lansing Catholic part-time for as long as she can.

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