MHS Longest-Working Employee Retired After 50 Years of Service
On Friday, July 31, 2020, Mary Stauffer, Milton Hershey School’s longest-working employee, retired after 50 years of service. Throughout Stauffer’s tenure at MHS, she has held numerous titles including: assistant cook of food services; assistant manager of food services; staff assistant Vehicle Equipment Maintenance (VEM); and coordinator of VEM Central Inventory.
Her own MHS journey started three days after graduating from Lower Dauphin High School in 1970 with her first role as an assistant cook in the supply center, then located behind the Homestead.
“Back in those days, we were expected to get a job right after high school,” Stauffer said. “I did not have my driver’s license and my neighbors worked at MHS, so I rode with them to work every day.”
Stauffer has seen many historical events occur at MHS, and as the school prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Founders Hall, she reminisces about when the building was first built and the role she played in the dedication festivities.
“I remember when Founders Hall was dedicated on September 13, 1970,” Stauffer said. “I was a part of the building’s opening and helped to host the first teachers banquet.”
In addition to Founders Hall, Stauffer has seen the campus grow and change over time and believes “Milton Hershey School evolved with the times.” She saw the Deed of Trust restated to allow girls and boys up to the age of 16 enroll as well as student homes transition to the beautiful buildings they are today.
Stauffer hopes her legacy lives on by being remembered as “honest and making an impact with those who directly support MHS students.”
Her contribution will be remembered by the MHS community and forever appreciated by her friends and colleagues. The School showed its appreciation during a surprise retirement party on Monday, July 20, 2020, to celebrate Stauffer’s milestone.
Ken McCall, MHS Agricultural and Environmental Education (AEE) Land Coordinator, was in charge of leading Stauffer to the surprise. They worked together for over 25 years.
“Mary is very driven and was committed to the mission of MHS,” McCall said. “She will be greatly missed, but we wish her the best as she enters retirement.”
Michael Kinney, MHS Community & Media Relations Manager, worked with Stauffer for over 30 years and remembers when they first met in the 1980s.
“Mary has not changed at all in the 30 years I have worked with her on numerous projects,” Kinney said. “My first interactions with Mary were when she was in Food Services and I was working at The Hershey Company. She has always been very pleasant, efficient, and knowledgeable.”
Stauffer’s plans for retirement are to “enjoy time with family and take time for herself.” In her 50 years of service, she rarely used vacation time and now is excited to have more time to enjoy the little moments in life.