Since March 2001, when she started working at St. Mary’s Dominican High School, Joy Robinson has seen the ebb and flow of students over more than 20 years. Her interactions with them have been close-up as a cashier for the school’s dining services. And she has offered the same advice to them from the start. “Finish high school, go to college, and be what you want to be – teacher, doctor, nurse, whatever makes you happy. Hug your parents and thank them for they have made sacrifices so that you have a good education,” she shared.
Robinson knew it would be hard to say goodbye to her Dominican family when she and her husband Leon, a long-time chef at East Jefferson General Hospital, decided to move to Smithfield, Virginia. Smithfield is home to three daughters, six grandsons, and one granddaughter. In December, Robinson will start her new job at Smithfield High School.
As part of Dominican’s celebration for Robinson, the Student Council made Queen Joy pins for students and personnel to attach to their name tags. The pins featured Robinson’s photograph above the message, “DHS ♥ our Queen Mrs. Joy.” Her cashier station was decorated with streamers and sparkly garland. Administration presented her with an original painting of the Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Complex, fountain, and Veritas Tower by Dominican alumna Karen Kloesel Katz ’82. It was bordered with signatures and well wishes from faculty and personnel.
There were hugs and tears on her last day but also smiles. “The friendships I have made bring me such joy. My heart is full,” said Robinson.