The Hot Lunch King

By Noelle Mentch and Darick Fait, Current Staff

Many things have changed since the 1990s, but Scott Mindel’s daily lunch routine hasn’t.

Since beginning his career 26 years ago, the East social studies teacher has, like many students at the West Bend High Schools, gone through the school lunch line to retrieve his meal. However, now that the school year is drawing to a close, Mindel will have to find alternatives for lunch.

“I’m not one to make my lunch,” Mindel said. “Nobody else at home is going to make my lunch, either.”

When asked if he is ridiculed by anyone for his eating habits, Mindel said by practically everyone in his department.

One of these department members is Scott Hall, who teaches right down the hall from Mindel.

“So (Mindel has) had, not to get into many details about it but, some medical issues at times and we joke around that maybe it’s because he eats hot lunch everyday,” Hall said.

Regardless of the teasing, Hall does not find it strange.

“No, not odd,” Hall said. “That’s just what he did every day. I bring lunch every day but he goes down and gets it from the cafeteria.”

“I’m not one to make my lunch.”
– Scott Mindel, East social studies teacher

However, despite the general stigma surrounding the quality of school lunch, Mindel has no complaints.

“I would say that it’s not as bad as everybody thinks it is,” Mindel said.

Besides, he is not the only faculty member that eats school lunch. According to Sally Iñiguez, a school cafeteria food service worker, a few teachers and staff also take hot lunch on occasion.

In fact, Mindel knows one of these other teachers. Mindel says that East business teacher Jeff Rondorf frequents the lunch line as well.

And Mindel’s favorite meal? Chicken Thursdays.

“I guess you can’t lose with Chicken Thursdays, whether it’s nuggets or fingers or whatever shapes that they are,” Mindel said. “I always get a salad, it seems that you get more food at the salad bar line. Maybe second place would be spaghetti and meatballs.”

(Video: Scott Mindel, social studies teacher, grabs hot lunch Thursday in the West Bend East High School cafeteria. Video by Noelle Mentch, Current Staff.)

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