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Spring Meadow's Olga Castillo celebrates 35 years with the district

In Judson ISD, it is common to find a staff member who has committed 10, 15, 20, or 30 years serving the district. That’s what makes Judson ISD a special place - recruiting amazing people, and retaining and growing the best.

Things have definitely changed since Mrs. Olga Castillo joined Judson ISD 35 years ago: the Berlin Wall was still up, George H.W. Bush was running for President, and Michael Jackson was in the middle of a US tour.

It was a different time - and the Northeast part of town was very different. As the boom was starting and people began migrating northward, so were the jobs. More people meant more schools, and more people to support those schools.

“My husband and I were both looking for jobs. I was a baby when I applied,” Castillo said.

At the time, all she knew was food - nothing else interested her. So, she joined the Child Nutrition department. And as the cliche says, the rest was history.

Having started at the original Judson High School as a baker, thirty-five years later, she still calls the district home.

“I could make tortillas, but I wasn’t a baker,” Castillo said. “I didn’t know how to do that, but I was willing to learn. We had to make everything from scratch, and I ended up being really good at it.”

After success at Judson, she was trusted to open up Wagner as the assistant manager, which was no easy task.

“I was part of the team that helped put it together,” Castillo said.

As she continued to grow and lead, it was time for her to take over her own kitchen, which led her to Spring Meadows Elementary, where she has been for nearly 20 years.

What makes her ooze pride is being a Judson ISD graduate herself.

“I graduated from Judson High School in 1980. I went to Kirby Junior High and Converse Elementary. My son, nieces and nephews went to Converse Elementary. My entire family lives in Converse,” Castillo said. “Judson is what I know.”

Even with all her years of service, retirement is still not an option.

“I’ve thought about it but never looked into it,” Castillo said. “I love what I do. I love my job. I love working in the kitchen. These people become my family. I love being around people. I love talking to people. If I retire, I don’t know what I would do.”

Without the Child Nutrition (and Custodial) staffs, who open the doors first thing in the morning, schools don’t run. Olga Castillo is a giver, helper, talker, worker, the first one in the building and a loyal staff member of the district, committed to ensuring that the first student in line and the last student in line are fed. 

At the end of the day, it’s making sure all students are treated equitably.

“I love being here [at Spring Meadows],” Castillo said. “This place is family.”

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