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Clipper Corner: Alumni Edition

Clipper Corner Alumni Edition: Meet Amy Keefe

By Sarah E. Murphy 

Amy KeefeFor Mullen-Hall Food Services Director Amy Keefe, every day is a trip down memory lane. It’s not just her workplace, it’s also where she went to elementary school.

“I have such fond memories of Mullen-Hall. I remember this as being such an amazing, happy place, all the way from kindergarten to fourth grade,” she said. 

A 1990 graduate of Falmouth High School, Amy spent eight years as a preschool teacher in Brookline, Mass. before moving back to Falmouth to raise a family with her husband, Tim Moniz, FHS ’86. Amy and Tim are the parents of Morgan, who is studying early childhood education at Bridgewater State University, and Connor, a junior at FHS. 

Six years ago, when Amy learned the food services department in Falmouth Public Schools was hiring, she decided to apply. After twenty years working nights as a waitress, it seemed like the right time to make a life change. 

“I love working with children, first and foremost, and I wanted to get back into education in some capacity. My kids were old enough that I could leave the house in the morning, so it seemed like the perfect fit,” she recalled.

Amy started off at Mullen-Hall part-time, and three years later, in February 2020, she was offered a full-time position as kitchen lead. Soon after, life changed for her and the world. The pandemic forced the closure of school, and five months later, Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was on medical leave for a majority of the 2020-2021 school year, for surgeries and chemotherapy, most of which she had to undergo alone due to Covid protocols. She returned to work after April vacation. 

Today, Amy’s cancer is in remission, and she feels more energized as each year passes.

“It was a long road, but I’m just so grateful for where I am now instead of where I was two years ago,” she said. 

“It was a very humbling experience.” 

She’s also grateful for her career. 

“This school is such a pleasant place to be. The teachers and staff care about the kids very much, and on any given day, everybody works together to keep things running smoothly. Here in the kitchen, we do everything as a team,” she said. 

Amy offers her time serving on the Mullen-Hall safety committee, and she’s committed to making a positive difference by reducing kitchen waste through implementing small changes, such as limiting the amount of napkins that are made available to students. She was recently chosen by Mullen-Hall Principal Rose Moran as a reader for National Read Across America Day in March, which coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. In honor of the occasion, Amy created homemade Seuss-themed cupcakes for the entire school. 

For Amy, the best thing about her job is the demographic she serves. She takes pride and joy in making the students happy. 

“Everybody gets the same menu, but I like to ‘finesse’ the food. I try to make things as fresh and desirable for the kids as I can. Today, we’re having pizza, and we had some leftover pasta, so I made a pasta salad. It’s one more thing to offer them,” she said. 

”I don’t want them to have any stress about not liking something, so I do whatever I can to help them have a successful trip through the line.”

Amy still works part-time in the restaurant business, at one of Falmouth’s most popular local spots, Paul’s Pizza in Falmouth Heights. 

“I love seeing all the familiar faces from school. It’s such a nice, family-oriented place. One little boy pointed at me one night, calling me his ‘lunch teacher.’ I thought that was such a sweet description,” she said with a smile. 

Sarah E. Murphy