Atlanta celebrates 100-year old lunch lady

5:01 p.m Monday, June 12, 2017 AJC Homepage
Gladys Cornelius. Atlanta Public Schools photo

Gladys Cornelius celebrated her 100th birthday in sequins and heels and with an official proclamation naming June 5 in honor of Cornelius, who served lunch to thousands of Atlanta school children over the years.

The Atlanta school board recognized Cornelius, a school nutrition employee at Collier Heights Elementary School, Douglass High School and the former Harper High School for 15 years, for her "life-long commitment to the Atlanta Public Schools."

"Gladys Cornelius has lived during the most eventful century of this nation's history and has been a model and inspiration to her family and to those who have known her," the board's official resolution reads.

Cornelius, who retired decades ago, never missed a day of work and made it her priority to take care of every child who came through the lunch line, board member Steven Lee said.

"She was the epitome of what APS says we're about," he said.

View full experience