The DeKalb County School System's cafeteria managers have all completed level one certification with the Tennessee School Nutrition Association.
"The State School Nutrition Association has three levels of certification and all of our cafeteria managers have completed level one," said School Nutrition Supervisor Stephanie Walker-Dyer.
These cafeteria managers are Beverly Starnes at DeKalb West School, Tammy Maynard at DeKalb Middle School, Debbie Young at DCHS, Jean Hayes at Smithville Elementary School, and Pam Baines at Northside Elementary School. Amie Buchanan, assistant cafeteria manager at Northside Elementary School, has also completed level one certification.
"In order to be certified, you must have a high school diploma or a GED. You must have completed ten hours of an approved nutrition course and ten hours of an approved food safety and sanitation course. All of these ladies have completed that and we're very proud of them. We hope they will continue to work up to level three," said Dyer.
Meanwhile, two local cafeteria managers will be taking a culinary class during the Tennessee School Nutrition Association's second annual Culinary Specialist Training March 10-14.
"We had two of our managers to apply to that, Pam Baines at Northside Elementary School and Debbie Young at DCHS," said Dyer. "There were 40 applicants, twenty selected and both of our ladies got accepted. They were in the top ten for their essays. You had to write an essay as well as turn in an application. We are so very proud of those ladies. They will get recognized at the Tennessee School Nutrition Association Conference in June. That's when their graduation takes place. Once they go to culinary school, they will do hands on preparation. They will learn how to do standardized recipes, knife skills, learn how to cook with spices, preparation methods for vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and pastas, learn food safety and lots more. The materials these ladies will be given are knife sets, cutting boards, a resource manual, and a culinary chef coat. After completion of the course, they will come back and do ten hours of training with our ladies. We're doing some great things in school nutrition and I am so very proud of all of our ladies there. They are really taking ownership of their kitchen and growing professionally and that is what we like to see," said Dyer.
Meanwhile, National Breakfast Week is March 3-7. "We encourage all students to participate in Breakfast Week, not only during that week but at all times. They will be given some prizes that week," Dyer concluded.
(TOP PHOTO: Left to right: Debbie Young-DCHS, Beverly Starnes-DWS, Jean Hayes- SES, Amie Buchanan- NES Assistant Manager, Tammy Maynard- DMS, not pictured Pam Baines-NES, and Stephanie Walker-Dyer School Nutrition Supervisor)
(BOTTOM PHOTO: Left to right: Stephanie Walker-Dyer School Nutrition Supervisor, Debbie Young Cafeteria Manager DCHS, not pictured Pam Baines-NES Cafeteria Manager)