COLUMBIA - Students at Paxton Keeley Elementary School crowded the commons area on Monday to surprise long-time lunch cashier, Anna Weyand, on her 90th birthday.
Weyand has been serving students at Paxton Keeley for the last 10 years, and she's worked for the school district for 18. "She is just everybody's grandma," said Suzanne Sullivan, the school's kitchen manager. Sullivan said Weyand is an inspiration to all her coworkers. "She's always smiling, always has a good attitude, comes to work every day, you know, she's gentle with the kids--she's just wonderful," Sullivan said.
Even though she took the day off, Weyand made a trip to the school for a special birthday song from about 700 students and teachers. Two of Weyand's sons and their families made trips from Florida and Minnesota to celebrate as well. Weyand said she was very surprised and felt very loved. "Well, I just love the children, just love them, and they're so wonderful. They are so nice," Weyand said.
The staff made a special poster for the students listing fun facts from the year 1921--the year Weyand was born. They presented Weyand with flowers and a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume, first released in 1921, as well as a donation for the fifth grade class' scholarship fund in her honor.
Weyand lives independently and still drives herself to work daily. She said she'll continue working for the school as long as she can.