EDISON – The love for Evelyn Kiss, a long-time cafeteria worker at John P. (JP) Stevens High School, was evident as she received a standing ovation and fanfare as she turned 100 years young.
“I wish to thank everybody,” Kiss said at an Edison Board of Education (BOE) meeting on Oct. 15. “All the years I worked at JP, which is many, many years, it’s been the best years of my life. I love the students. I’ve always have loved them and that is why I enjoy working with them in school.”
JP Stevens Principal Anthony Shallop said Kiss is an important member of the school.
“Evelyn Kiss is woven in the fabric of JP Stevens,” he said. “She has worked at JP for over 55 years. She has been there since 1965 when the school opened and when [the school] had its very own food service. She continued at JP when Chartwells [Food Services] took over. She is amazing, she is inspiring and the children and staff at JP always look forward seeing Ms. Evelyn every day.”
Shallop said as the saying goes “you never work a day in your life if you do what you love.”
“I would argue that Evelyn has never worked a day in the 55 years that she has been at JP,” he said, adding Kiss is still employed at JP. “She’s a wonderful person because of the love she has for our children. Ms. Evelyn is an icon at JP and a wonderful role model for each and every one of us.”
Earlier in the day, Shallop, with the help of the JP Stevens hawk mascot, Chartwells and members of the police, fire and emergency medical services in Fanwood, led a birthday parade in Kiss’s neighborhood where she lives with her granddaughter and her family.
Kiss has lived in Fanwood for 50 years. She has four children, one granddaughter and two great grandchildren.
Shallop read a proclamation from Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, who declared Oct. 15, 2020, “Evelyn Kiss Day.”
“She is a spitfire and loves to laugh and joke around and we know that at JP,” Shallop said as he read the proclamation. “Evelyn has a deep love of the New York Yankees, Disney World and Florida. Every day she wakes up and puts a full face of makeup and she is the best caregiver to her beloved dog Mandy. She also enjoys shopping at her favorite store Walmart.”
At the end of the presentation, a video of members of the JP Stevens community wished Kiss a happy birthday. On behalf of the BOE, Board President Ralph Errico also presented Kiss flowers to celebrate her special day.