They serve more than 1,000 students every day. Most Northwest students don’t know even know who they are.
“I’ve never talked to most of the lunch ladies,” freshman Micheal Vernon said. “I don’t even know their names, except for Pam and James”
That’s how it is for most students at Northwest. They simply get their food and go; some haven’t even spoken a word to the lunch staff. But they are there, making lunchtime go smoothly– and breakfast, too.
“These students are like my own,” lunch staff manager Pam Goad said. “I have never had any problems with them; they are sweet.”
Most students haven’t met Goad or any of the other kitchen staff, but the lunch crew works hard to make sure each and every student during lunch is taken care of. They arrive at school by 6:45 a.m. and are already preparing meals and getting things ready.
Every week, they load boxes out of food trucks and get to unpacking. They are busy all day working.
“I just thought they gave us food and went on with their day,” sophomore Rachel Clanton said. “It’s cool to think that they actually care about us and think we’re good students.”
But the lunchroom staff doesn’t just live to serve the hungry students of Northwest High School. They have just as complex and interesting lives outside of school, as well.
“I go to the gym, I go to ball games,” Goad said. “I go to Northwest ball games, and Southern Guilford ballgames, where my grandkids play. Then I go to church and take care of my 96-year-old father, so my day is filled.”
Even with busy schedules, early mornings and a day of dealing with teenagers, Goad has no complaints.
“I know it sounds crazy,” Goad said, “but we love the students here, we love our jobs and we think the kids are just the sweetest.”