Work We Do: Millie Nash, Phillips Avenue Elementary

My name is Mildred Nash and I’m a cook here at Riverhead Central School District. I’ve been here for 28 years.

My normal day is coming in, me and the girls, at 7 a.m. and we start off with getting breakfast together, getting our crates out, and preparing breakfast early in the morning. 

We have like 25 classes that get the breakfast. We have the breakfast coolers, they come down, all the kids come down in the morning and everything is prepared into their crates and the kids take them down to their classes. And then we start into our lunch and cleanup; that’s our daily routine every day. I have a wonderful staff here. I have nicknames for all of them. I would do anything for my girls.

This is the best part of my day, you know, just being here with the kids at school. And a lot of kids here call me grandma, and they learned that through my grandchildren coming through the district. I love my job because it’s comfort for me. It’s just like being at home, just a little bit more work here, and I love it.

With the kids coming in from kindergarten going into fourth grade, I enjoy it because over the years, even after they leave fourth grade, I’ll meet them in the middle school or the high school and they walk up to me and they hug me, they embrace me.

They say, ‘Oh Grandma, it’s so good to see you!’ I ran into a young man in the store and he ran up to me and said it was good to see me, and I was like ‘Oh my, it’s been a decade!’ It’s amazing because you would think they would forget about me. Some of them are parents now and young adults, but they still come up to me and give me that hug I started to get when they were little kids.

Being that I’m not really their grandmother, they still identify [me] as part of their life.
And I really love that.

“The Work We Do” is a Riverhead News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview.