Pictured is Wheeling Middle School cook Jill Hutchison with Wildcat eighth grader Damian Roller

For 21 years Wheeling Middle School cook Jill Hutchison has said good morning to each student who comes through her serving line.

She loves the students, and she has served so many as a cook or kitchen manager at Wheeling Park High School, Ritchie Elementary School, Middle Creek Elementary School and now Wheeling Middle where she is in her third year. Hutchison said she’s enjoyed working at the elementary, middle and high school levels, but she especially likes the older students.

“The high school kids like to respond,” she said. “Some of the younger students are shy, and aren’t comfortable in engaging with you. The middle and high school students are more likely to talk, but I like working with all of them.”

Hutchison begins her day at Wheeling Middle School at 6 a.m. She serves breakfast and lunch, and she often serves meals prior to after-school events like athletics and performances. Her work day ends at about 4 p.m. on days in which there are games or concerts.

Hutchison said Wheeling Middle School is a special place with an excellent staff and students. She said they are kind and friendly, and the school has a family-like feel. Hutchison said there is also a Wildcat student she especially looks forward to greeting every day – eighth grader Damian Roller.

“I say good morning to every student every morning,” she said. “Not all of them respond, but Damian says ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ to me every day.”

Ohio County Schools Child Nutrition Director Renee Griffin said Hutchison is an exemplary employee. She said Hutchison cares for the students she serves.

“Jill is dedicated,” Griffin said. “She cares about the students and that they are well fed. She goes out of her way to make kids feel special, and that means something to the kids. She’s awesome.”