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[Courtesy: WTHR Channel 13]

LEBANON, Ind. — When Precilla Bates started serving lunch in the school cafeteria back in 2007, she never imagined she’d be here 18 years later and loving it more than ever.

“I don’t have any children,” the 64-year old said. “So I’m like the grandma! I get to spoil them … and then they go home!” she said with her trademark laugh.

Miss Precilla, as she’s affectionally called, clearly holds a special connection — serving not only lunch each day, but also plenty of hugs, jokes and care. She’s also known for her wardrobe of tutus.

“I love your tutu,” one student said as she walked through the lunch line.

“Thank you, and I love your glasses,” Miss Precilla replied.

“We just love seeing her every morning and hugging her, and she’s so nice!” said Liam, a fourth-grader.

Miss Precilla began working in lunchrooms at the high school and middle school. Several years ago, she moved to Central Elementary, one of Lebanon’s smallest schools with about 300 students.

“This is a special place because it’s small. We’re a family,” Miss Precilla said.

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