Lakesha Green’s car is typically the first car in the parking lot at Lane Middle School each morning. While teachers are tasked with nourishing students’ minds, her job is to nourish their bodies. That starts with breakfast, which she delivers to classrooms before students arrive. She’s the school café manager or, as students affectionately call her, “Miss Kesha.”
Green has worked in Fort Wayne Community Schools cafeterias for 11 years and has been a café manager for the past five. The Northrop High School graduate and mother of two teenagers started working in nutrition services when her children were in preschool and she was looking for a job with hours that would accommodate her young family.
“I absolutely love it,” she said.
School lunches are prepared daily in the school’s newly renovated kitchen. In addition to overseeing the cafeteria’s daily operations, Green designs lunch menus from a recipe database created by the district’s dietitians. The recipes aren’t just nutritious; they’re pretty tasty, she said. She has even tried some of the recipes at home — the beefaroni is a hit with her kids.
In May, FWCS announced it would offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to students in elementary, middle and high schools. Green said it was a positive step.
“It’s a really good program, and I’m glad it got put in place because now parents and kids don’t have to worry about where they’re going to get lunch money from. That’s one less thing for them to worry about so that they can focus on their school work and getting through the school day,” she said.
Green also enjoys interacting with students during their lunch periods.
“I’m out there every lunch walking around, talking to them, making sure they’re not playing in line,” she said.
“A lot of people say middle school is hard because (students are) growing into who they are and trying to figure out who they are. Some days, all it takes is for you to say ‘Have a good day!’ to brighten their day.”
Here’s a glimpse into a day in her life on Oct. 5, 2018:
By the numbers:
4:30 a.m. Time Green wakes up
350-450 Number of breakfasts served each day
Granola bar Green’s breakfast of choice
650 Number of lunches served each day
More than 60 Number of entree choices for lunch
Orange chicken with rice Most popular entree