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Co-Workers Host Surprise Retirement Celebration

Co-Workers Host Surprise “Coffee Tailgate” Retirement Celebration
Posted on 04/03/2020
Maryann DavilaSeveral staff from Robbinsdale Area Schools planned a creative way to celebrate a co-worker’s retirement, all while adhering to social distancing and small gathering guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff hosted a surprise “coffee tailgate” in the parking lot of the district’s central office building on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to recognize Maryann Davila’s 22-year-career with Robbinsdale Area Schools and wish her well in retirement. Staff held hand-made signs, shouted well-wishes and honked their car horns.

“I was totally surprised,” said Ms. Davila. “It was probably the most awesome surprise party of a lifetime!” she exclaimed. With many staff working remotely, she went to work not expecting anything special and thinking of all the things she still wanted to accomplish on her last day. One of Ms. Davila's co-workers called and asked her to go to her car in the parking lot. “I’m walking out there and I heard a horn honk - I think it was the Superintendent - and I looked and saw a circle with chairs like a tailgate. I instantly started running towards the cars, ran around the circle and did a happy dance,” she said. Staff also offered her “distance” hugs, with their arms outstretched.

Ms. Davila, who started working for Robbinsdale Area Schools in 1998 at Meadow Lake Elementary, has also worked in the district’s middle schools, Armstrong High School, the business office for Adventure Club and (finally) student services at the district office. Robbinsdale Area Schools “is like your second family and everybody cares. Every location I ever worked in has always felt that way,” Ms. Davila said.