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Get to know the cafeteria staff

Jenna Hope, Staff Writer

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Haider Nawaz

What is your favorite part about working here in the cafeteria?

I like everything about it.

Challenging?

No

What do you like to do in your freetime when you’re not at work?

I like to play with my niece Mia. She’s 6 years old. My dad also works for the district as well and this is his 21st year and my uncle used to work here.

Were you born in Kansas?

I was born in Pakistan. I needed to have a lot of surgeries when I was little on my feet and my aunt told us about Children’s Mercy Hospital, so that’s how we ended up in Kansas.

What is your favorite thing on the menu?

I like the grilled chicken burrito and pizza, of course.

Do you have any advice here for the students?

Just to work hard in your academics and you will be successful.

Favorite subject in school?

I liked history and science and choir.

Do you have a favorite artist you listen to?

I like all of them, any genre. I listen to Pakistani and American — music all of them.

 

Joyce Goh

How long have you been working in the cafeteria?

I start from the first day of school, so I’ve done nine years here.

What do you do every day in the cafeteria, specific jobs?

Every morning I come and make the salad bar and cook the pasta and set up everything.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The salad bar.

Any challenging things about your job?

Sandra. Just kidding.

Anything you have learned working here?

How to go with the kids.

Where are you from?

I’m from Malaysia, Chinese. I’ve been in the United States for 22 years.

What brought you to the US?

I moved with my family. So my sister applied my family to move here. I have three older kids who aren’t in Kansas City anymore.

What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not at work?

Watching TV, exercise. Chinese and Korean dramas are my favorite to watch.

Favorite Memory?

I like our teamwork, I super like that.

Favorite Color?

Any light colors are my favorite.

What is your favorite thing on the menu?

I like the burrito bar.

 

Kevin Chen

How long have you been working in the cafeteria?

I’ve worked in Blue Valley for 11 years total. I worked at Lakewood and Overland Trail before coming to Southwest.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Every day I see the young kids and I like to communicate with young people — just talk with them and I get new fresh ideas. I feel my brain working and it gives me energy.

Where were you born?

I was born in Taiwan, a very beautiful small island.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to watch sports games on TV. My favorite teams are, of course, the Chiefs and the
Royals. My whole life is here you know, for 30 years.

Do you have any children?

I have three kids. Since I came here and moved here, I really like the educational system here. I stayed here to give my kids more choice and more freedom. When they were still kids I told them, you know here we can help you go to college, and if you don’t want to go to college you still have many jobs you can have.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Learning more knowledge from the kids — new ideas from the kids — because I’m almost 63 years old and I need new knowledge to keep me learning.

Favorite thing on the menu?

Salad

 

Kevin Li

What is your favorite thing about working in the cafeteria?

I like the kids, being around them makes me happy.

What do you do everyday here in the cafeteria?

I do most of the cooking — that’s my job.

Most difficult part?

Sometimes it feels like there’s too many things to do.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I just relax. There are some movies I watch but not too much.

Were you born in Kansas?

No, I was born in China. I came over in 1989. I was a student and studied engineering at college in the US.

What is your favorite color?

Yellow

Do you have any kids?

I have one kid, one daughter. She’s in high school.

Any advice for students?

Just behaving you know. Because you guys have control of the future and if you don’t behave yourself the future could be in trouble.

Is there anything you miss about China?

My family.

Favorite item on the menu?

Pizza

 

Naheda Abusalim

How long have you been working in the cafeteria?

I’ve been here for about one year.

What do you like most about your job?

I like to communicate with the kids and my coworkers. It’s very nice.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to read and play with my two grandchildren.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

You have to be on time and manage your time well when you cook.

Where are you from?

I’m from the middle east in Jordan, Palestine. I always go visit in the summertime every few years. I have some family also here. I have two brothers here. I have six kids, four daughters and two boys. Two of them are married and each one has one child.

 

Dina Kushnirchuk

How long have you been working in the cafeteria?

This is my fourth year.

What is your favorite part about working here?

I like to work everything everyplace but I do not like working in the refrigerator.

What do you do every day?

I come in and cover all the sandwiches.

Where are you from? When did you come to the US?

I am from Ukraine. It’s a long story but I moved almost 15 years ago. I lived in Seattle for 20 years. I didn’t like the weather there. It was too rainy. The weather here is a lot better for me because I love the four seasons. Especially now with all the fall colors; fall is my favorite season.

What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not at work?

Ugh too many. I have too many hobbies. In cold weather, it’s my favorite to sit around the fire and read books. In the summer, I love to work on my garden. I like to crochet and to work with wool to make sweaters.

Family?

I have two kids. A son Dimitri in ninth grade at Olathe West and my daughter Julia is in fifth grade.

Favorite thing on menu?

Fruit and Salad. Sometimes I eat the premium sandwiches, too.

 

Sandra Neill

Describe what you do everyday here in the cafeteria?

I come every morning and just make sure everything is ready to be served for breakfast. I do a lot of paperwork and I do a lot of orders. I’m the one in charge of managing how much we serve of every item. I’m the one that makes all of the orders, the quality, portion control and all of these things. I’m here at 6:30 in the morning until 2:30-3, sometimes even 4.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I like to work with you guys, serving the students first. I like the challenge of always playing with the numbers — trying to figure out how how much we need and what the student’s favorite foods are.

Do you have a favorite item on the menu?

The salad bar and fruit very much.

What would you say is the most challenging part?

I think the most challenging part is to be able to have every single item that we offer on the bar, because we never know how much the students are going to eat. So, sometimes we can run out an item, and then the next week we have a lot of leftovers, so it’s really just a guessing game.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to run. I’ve been running since I was younger, like 10 years old. So I was doing cross country when I was younger and you know when you’re young you like to do a lot of things.

Were you born in Kansas?

No, I’m from Mexico City, Mexico. I’m mixed. I have a little bit of Italian, Spanish/Mexican and I’ve been in Kansas for about 30 years.

What brought you to Kansas?

I came here to study English, which has never been really good enough because I’m still learning.

Do you have kids?

Yes I have two kids. They are both in college.

Advice for students?

There is a lot to say. Just do what you want to do, be happy, and reach out to your goals. Go to school and go to college.

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Jenna Hope, Staff Writer

This is Jenna Hope’s first year on The Standard. She is currently improving on her skills as a designer and photographer. Outside of newspaper, Jenna...

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Get to know the cafeteria staff