Howard Drive Says Farewell to Serge
School caretaker retires at the end of January
Most days are dark when Serge Millien arrives at Howard Drive Elementary School. As the day custodian, he arrives several hours before even the first administrator or teacher sets foot on campus. With his familiar bucket hat, blue shirt and navy pants, Serge, as he is known to most at HDE, is a tall man, whose gentle smile is wide and easy. With more than 13 years as a custodian for HDE, his kind face is one that many will miss when he retires at the end of January.
A private person, Mr. Millien could be described as shy, but despite that, he is always the first to greet you at HDE, where one of his grandchildren attends. He is also a certified chef who, in a “former life,” cooked for President Bill Clinton. Naturally, he always brought the most enviable of lunches to school.
“We tend to take for granted that things just get done,” states Mrs. Deanna Dalby, Principal of HDE, “but Mr. Millien is a large part of this stability and he has made working here so easy—he will be greatly missed.”
With his quiet demeanor and tender spirit, Mr. Millien, in his 60s, is always happy to be of assistance. Mr. Vincent Kennedy, HDE’s lead custodian commented on Mr. Millien’s boundless energy.
“I am going to miss him dearly. He is irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind,” laments Mr. Kennedy, who actually gave Mr. Millien his first job at another site and then brought him over to HDE.
“We could always count on Mr. Millien (and his wife) to help no matter what we needed him to do. He was always ready and willing to lend a hand to help our events and for this, we are so grateful,” says PTA President Kathy Penney. “We wish him well and will miss him and his positivity.”
Parents and students who knew him are saddened that he will be gone.
“I will miss his smile and his ‘good morning, mommy’ greeting in his island accent, but know he will enjoy having more time to use his culinary skills and to travel. He was always so happy to help in any way he could, I don’t know what we are going to do without him next year at Fun Fair! He will be greatly missed by all!” expresses Nicole Connolly, PTA VP of Fundraising.
“Mr. Millien is nice and I see him every day almost everywhere I go at school,” declares Michaela Smith, 4th grade, who explained that after he retires, it will be weird not to see him anymore.
“He’s a fixture. He’s always there, helping, going about his business and making HDE better and he will be missed,” maintains Mrs. Christina Diaz, Assistant Principal of HDE.
While looking forward to retirement, Mr. Millien plans to stay active and take up something new. He’s spoken of traveling and cooking. Surely, with at least one grandchild at HDE, Mr. Millien will make his way back to our school as a doting grandfather, and we will be the ones who greet him.
On behalf of PTA, the administration, teachers, families and students, Mr. Millien, thank you for your service, we wish you all the best!