How often is it that we find out about the personal lives of KO staff members? Not very. We now have that opportunity, via an Instagram account, to learn a bit more about the life of Assistant to the Dean of Students Lindsay Perkins.
Run by Ms. Perkins herself, @lindsayculinary features her numerous gastronomical creations. This account has allowed KO students to form a closer connection Ms. Perkins, which is especially important during these trying times.
Even as a child, Ms. Perkins has been in the kitchen baking. She said that her mother’s culinary abilities were a major inspiration behind this passion. However, it was during her adult years when she took the chance to follow an occupation in cooking.
She left college in order to attend the Farmington Culinary Arts School for two years. Then, she got an internship baking for nine months. Following her culinary education, she worked at Truffles Bakery in Farmington for eight more years. However, she wanted to finish her formal education, so she earned a degree at UCONN and received a job instructing a cooking class for young children at Camp KO.
It was at this camp that she met Camp Director Sheri Shea. Soon after, Ms. Shea asked Ms. Perkins to work as her assistant, and Ms. Perkins was excited to become closer with the KO community. It was at the end of the 2017-2018 term when former Upper School Administrator Donna Dudzik retired that Ms. Perkins applied for the job. She has certainly become an invaluable individual in our lives ever since.
“Former pro baker turned high school administrator,” is how Ms. Perkins describes herself in the bio of her Instagram account. She often posts gorgeous pictures of her creations with captions such as “Easy-as-pie apple cake heading into the oven,” which she posted on April 5. @lindsayculinary is a huge source of fun and self-expression for Ms. Perkins. “It’s totally my outlet now,” she said.
With over 2,000 followers and almost as many posts, she has clearly demonstrated her passion for cooking. Ms. Perkins has had quite a bit of success too, having gotten a discount code with Cookshop Plus, a supply store in West Hartford. Numerous posts of Ms. Perkins’ appear each month, showing how much time and dedication she puts into the content of her account. These posts take her followers into a completely new world full of vibrant and tasty-looking creations. Her three most recent posts include a perfect chocolate-covered donut, a tray of gooey cinnamon rolls, and a perfectly-shaped french omelet. “I love the creative part of it,” Ms. Perkins said. “It’s so much fun to show off all of this pretty food.”
To say that the current quarantine has put a damper on her spirits would be an understatement. Despite these difficult times, Ms. Perkins’ cooking and posting of content has not stopped for a moment; rather, it has increased. Her online presence has grown immensely over the past few weeks, posting even more frequently and having multiple “stories” on her Instagram account every day.
Each morning, students wake up to more of her positivity in the form of a “Wyvern Today!” email, which serves as a reminder of the schedule and any important announcements. These emails are all special, for they include positive and uplifting content, ranging from a picture of her dog to a message to students on their birthday.
Simple posts and emails weren’t enough for Ms. Perkins, however, so she decided to run a weekly cook-along class every Wednesday. If students would like, they can join her in a Zoom call and follow her lead as she demonstrates her methods of making dishes, including a popular hit: Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter.
Ms. Perkins has used every opportunity and medium that she has to lift the spirits of many. It is clear that she does whatever she can do to help the members of the KO community to stay happy and excited during these trying times.
Those that work closely with Ms. Perkins have forever known her for possessing such a positive demeanor. Dean of Students Will Gilyard substantiated this with his own point of view. “Ms. Perkins has such an exuberance, such a joy of life,” Mr. Gilyard said. “She is a friendly face at KO who always has a positive word and is always looking at the silver lining.”
There isn’t a moment at KO in which someone can enter Ms. Perkins’ office without noticing the personality that Mr. Gilyard describes. Her office in the bottom of Roberts holds for students nothing but candy, pretzel sticks, and an enthusiastic “Hello!” from Ms. Perkins herself. Her charisma is electric, and the air around her magnetic. It isn’t far from the truth to say that Ms. Perkins is one of the most valued individuals at KO.
As students at KO, we often get lost in the whirlwind of friends and assignments that consume our everyday lives. Through her Instagram account, however, Ms. Perkins has reminded us to truly pay attention and get to know the beloved faculty on our campus. Through having conversations and engaging with the adults around us, we can learn so much about the lives of the people who have been somewhat of a mystery to us.