(COVINGTON, La.) — SMSgt. Don Pressley, USAF Ret., also known as Sarge, is often the snack savior for kids that forgot their lunch. He is quick when you tell him what you want, almost like an automatic machine gun shooting out candy at max speed. But, most students don’t know the man behind the snacks.
Sarge started working at St. Paul’s during the 1991-1992 school year selling candy and working for the school’s AFJROTC program. Today, he sells candy for St. Paul’s in the main school building during lunch and after school. Sarge is also the head of the maintenance department for SPS. His work with the maintenance department includes moving buses, setting up for all campus events, getting maintenance done on the buildings, and organizing his crew to cut the grass and pick up the trash.
The reason why Sarge has stayed at St. Paul’s for so long? “I love the family aspect of the school. I also love the students that I see everyday,” Sarge said.
Although he is known by most student from his work in the snack room, he only works in the snack shop for 55 minutes a day. The candy he buys cost 70 cents for each snack, and he sells it for a dollar. The profits go towards textbooks, workbook expenses, snack days, and teacher-student incentives. Sarge surprisingly doesn’t eat any of the snacks that he sells. The most popular candy he sells is the original red skittles. The most popular snack he sells is the potato sticks.
“I have been selling snacks for so long, because if a kid forgot his lunch, he could have something to eat,” said Sarge.
Prior to his time at SPS, Sarge was a boom operator on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.
“I decided to sign up for the Air Force before I graduated from high school,” Sarge said. He states that a friend inspired him to be a boom operator for the Air Force just by taking him for a flight in his airplane.
The plane that Sarge flew in was a tanker, which supplied fuel to other airplanes in the air. During this time, he was stationed in Thailand for 13 months. He still stays in touch with 30 people that he met in Thailand.
His wife, Ann, is the secretary of the SPS counseling center. Things he likes to do when he is not behind the counter are to play with his grandkids, watch football, and read a good spy book.