Mattituck Cutchogue School District

Work We Do: Beth Ficner, Cutchogue East Elementary School

I’m Beth Ficner. I’m the security guard here at Cutchogue East School.

I started working as a security guard in 2004. My normal day is to punch in at 7:30. I come in and go down to the cafeteria, where chorus and band is taking place. I go outside, help the kids off the bus with their instruments, make sure they get in safely. And then I basically stand outside there helping kids in and out of the car. The reason for me being out there helping with the cars is not only for their safety, but I enjoy greeting the kids, making them have a smile in the morning. Some kids have a rough time so I’ll crack a joke, and try to help them out of the car and start their day off a little bit smoother. 

I do rounds of the building four or five times a day, securing the doors, making sure everything is safe. I get to go outside during recess too.

I love working with the kids. I love the staff too, but kids are my life. I wanted to work with kids since I was little.

The school setting is kind of familiar to me. My mom was the high school secretary for 30 years. As she was retiring, my oldest brother was coming into the school and worked for the custodial staff for 30 years. It’s kind of like a family thing. We’re keeping it in the family by working in the school, serving our community.

I started out in the school being a TA (teaching assistant), being a lunch monitor. And I had heard the security guard was getting ready to retire and I was like, I know a lot of people in the community, I know a lot of the kids in school, that’d probably be a good job for me. Knowing the people, I think that’s a good thing, so when somebody comes to the door I can say, “Oh, you’re Johnny’s dad.”

I just enjoy being with kids, so being in the school setting is perfect for me.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.

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