BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The manager at Whataburger in Brownwood took it upon herself to throw a party for her employees that are graduating high school — all 20 of them.

“I always say, ‘I don’t just have two kids, I have, like, 80. It’s something that I take pride in, I just want them to know that they can succeed and that I care about them,” said Misty Jackson, manager.

This motherly instinct is something her employees have picked up on as well.

“To have Misty do something like this for us feels like, just having the best manager, who reminds me a lot of my mom, actually,” says Bangs senior Marina Nichols.

Cake, cookies, and gift bags were waiting for those that could show up, which was a fitting final hurrah for this fast food family.

“It’s nice to have this party, but even better to be with my coworkers, because we all know each other and have jokes, but like, we never get to hang out all together,” said Nichols.

Jackson, like any mother, is sad to see 10 of the 20 graduates hanging up their aprons to move out beyond the Big Country to higher schooling, new jobs, and even the military. Even so, she’s happy to have had the time they did.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for sure, but I’m just so proud of them, and I know they’ll come back to visit me when they’re in town,” says Jackson.