Service with a farewell smile

Retiring Grafton food director ready to dish out final school meals after long career

DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION SERVICES Linda Binder (right) will retire in June after 27 years with the Grafton School District. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

For 27 years, Linda Binder has been preparing tasty and healthy meals for Grafton students.

“When I first started, we were serving pizza and Little Debbie cupcakes,” Binder said. “The regulations have drastically changed over the years. Now, all the bread is whole grain.”

Binder will retire in June from her job as director of nutrition services for the Grafton School District.

Binder, 65, said she was considering retirement last year, but after voters approved a $39.9 million referendum for school facilities improvements, she decided to stay onboard to oversee kitchen renovations at Grafton High School and Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools. 

“All the years I was here we had to make do with the existing spaces,” she said. “With the renovations at the high school, we made it so kids didn’t have to line up and go to different stations.

“We made it more like a scramble system, which you see in college, where kids can go to different areas to grab their entrees and fruits and vegetables.”

On average, the district serves about 900 lunches per day. Some of the most popular items are popcorn chicken, udon noodle salads and spicy chicken sandwiches.

“The high-schoolers are really into spicy food,” Binder said.

To determine the trending taste palate of students, Binder monitors what other districts are serving and what’s being sold at quick-service restaurants. 

Next year, the district will be outsourcing its food services to Chartwells, a catering service for schools. While Binder is disappointed with the new direction, she said the company is one of the best.

Prior to joining the district, Binder was registered dietician and food services coordinator for Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center.

Through the years, Binder said, she developed many friendships with students and her staff of 25 employees. She said one of her former employees was a 90-year-old substitute lunch lady.

“She is one of the fastest servers I have ever seen,” Binder said, laughing.

In retirement, Binder wants to spend more time at her cottage near Eagle River and travel to national parks with her husband Bob. The couple has been married for 40 years and has visited 53 national parks.

“We really want to go to Alaska,” she said, adding she also wants to teach her husband how to cook.



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login