Veronica Raynor noticed something she liked about The Soulsville Charter School while picking up her nieces and nephews from school one day many years ago. Now, she is a teaching assistant and substitute teacher at TSCS and discusses her journey, her catering business, and what prompted her to enroll her son in the 6th grade.
TSCS: What was your first interaction with TSCS?
VR: My first interaction was when I was picking up my niece and nephew from school. I sat in the parking lot watching the students move around campus, some with instruments and others with books. I took a tour and was very impressed; the curriculum was not that different than what I was already acclimated with, and the school’s core values were in alignment with those that I already give my kids. In the years to follow, I began inquiring more about the programs because my son was approaching the 6th grade; coming from the private sector I thought this may have been a good fit for him. Orlando was the first class to graduate during the pandemic in 2020. He chose the technical track and he’s now a student at Moore Tech pursuing HVAC.
Veronica Raynor’s Our Kitchen Catering provided this salad bar for the Senior Banquet.
TSCS: You have a child and relatives in TSCS. Can you tell me what the school means to you?
VR: I currently have a 10th grader at TSCS who is a member of the orchestra, which holds a very special place in my heart. TSCS has equipped not only my children, but also my nieces and nephews and friends’ children with a great foundation to pursuing and becoming self-sufficient, independent, productive members of society.
TSCS: You’re now a staff member. How did that happen?
VR: I’ve always volunteered with anything that my kids have been involved in at school, so volunteering at TSCS became natural. The staff welcomed the parental support, which encouraged other parents to do so. I began helping out in the office and from there I would fill in for the teaching staff (substituting), and helping out wherever needed.
Veronica’s desserts for the Senior Banquet.
TSCS: You’re also a caterer. Can you tell us how you got into that?
VR: I became a caterer by default…lol. My mother has always cooked for her family and friends, so on any given day you could get a good meal, great conversation, and some food to take home. As mom’s health declined, her girls stepped up to master the kitchen. I saw where we could make a profit that could help with mom’s care as well as keep the kitchen alive: hence, the birth of “Our Kitchen Catering.” We have a recipe for every occasion
TSCS: What types of food do you serve when catering?
VR: Our Kitchen Catering offers an array of recipes for any occasion. We offer Southern cuisine such as fried chicken or fried catfish, greens, yams, and smoked Gouda mac ‘n cheese. Vegan options include eggplant Lasagna, jackfruit sliders, and “forget-the-crab” crab cakes. We also have Super Salads or our famous “Everything Salad,” shrimp & grits, and charcuterie boards.
Veronica also catered the TSCS Senior Prom.
TSCS: You recently catered the TSCS Senior Banquet. Can you tell us what you served and what that event meant to you?
VR: The senior banquet was very exciting for me because this is our first year together since the pandemic, and I just wanted to give the students a sense of normalcy. The menu consisted of a pasta bar with shrimp and chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, salad bar, white chocolate cake with blueberry puree, and strawberry, turtle, and brownie cheesecake.