Change in Taste: Manager to retire after 26 years on food staff

By Audrey Kittrell 2008

As a long distance bike rider in training, soon to be grandma and a full time manager of the Cedar Falls’ kitchens, Becky Dotzler has a lot on her plate.

That’s why after six years managing the kitchens, Dotzler will be handing in her apron and officially retiring after her last day on May 31.

“I’m very excited to retire. It should be one of the happiest times in a person’s life, and it really is for me,” Dotzler said.

Dotzler began working for Cedar Falls Schools in 1980 when she was a second cook at Peet Junior High. Dotzler soon graduated to head cook, assistant manager and then to the head manager of the kitchen. In 2000, she joined the CFHS kitchen and has been in this position ever since.

“(One of my favorite memories) was one of the very first days I ever started. I looked at the pots they were using and remember thinking to myself they were big enough to be a bathtub.”

From then on, Dotzler has been organizing employees’ cards, ordering lunches for the upcoming week, aiding students with special diets and making schedules to keep the kitchen in order every day.

“It’s a very fast pace job. There is a lot of heavy lifting, and it can get very hot in the kitchens,” Dotzler said.

Even though the kitchen can get a bit stressful at times, Dotzler enjoys her rewarding job.

“I love the fast pace in the kitchen. My job allows me to meet a lot of people and watch kids grow up. It’s nice to see kids at the high school that I remember from the junior high,” Dotzler said.

Dotzler officially announced her retirement in January after planning it for over a year.

“The others (on the food service staff) say they’ll miss me, but I know it will only be for awhile. They have so much to do to keep them busy.”

Dotzler plans on keeping herself busy as well by picking up a lost hobby.

“My husband and I love bike riding. We were a part of RAGBRAI for a couple of years where we biked 580 miles, our longest ride yet. Our next goal is to ride across the United States,” Dotzler said.

Though there are no official plans made, Dotzler expects the ride to take a few months.

But, the couple does not plan to leave until after their first grandbaby is born this August.

“I’m going to be a grandma. My son lives in Arizona, so we will be visiting there when the granddaughter is born shortly,” Dotzler said.

The couple also plans to take an Alaskan cruise in the the near future and do some other short term traveling as well.

“My husband is taking me to Las Vega next month to celebrate my retirement,” Dotzler said.

Another celebration reflecting Dotzler’s dedication to the school system will be held on May 24 in the cafeteria for staff members.

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