This past summer, many School Nutrition Managers across the state participated in the NC K-12 Culinary Institute. Sixteen different counties across North Carolina were hosts to the culinary workshops. The Culinary Institute, designed to enhance nutrition offerings, is funded by the USDA Professional Standards Training Grant received by NC DPI School Nutrition Section.
Ms. Dale Simmerman, Cafeteria Manager at East Middle School, and Ms. Cheryl Hurley, Cafeteria Manager Troy Elementary and MLA, both applied and were selected to represent Montgomery County Schools. They attended a 3 day K-12 Culinary Institute regional workshop in July at Marvin Ridge High School in Union County. Ms. Simmerman and Ms. Hurley both expressed what a wonderful opportunity this was, and especially noted the enjoyment of networking and camaraderie with other food nutrition professionals during the workshops.
The K-12 Culinary Institute was a very unique opportunity for our school nutrition professionals to enhance culinary skills and gain tools and information critical to their important roles in providing quality, nutritious school meals. The face to face and virtual institute was developed by the NC DPI School Nutrition Section and Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team in order to meet five core objectives: Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school; Increase participation in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs; Expand capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce; Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain rich foods, and provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.
Graduates of the NC K-12 Culinary Institute become Chef Ambassadors, prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the LEA level. MCS is very proud of Ms. Simmerman and Ms. Hurley for attending the K-12 Culinary Academy, and looks forward to these ladies “Teaching It Forward” to other Managers and associates the important food production and merchandising techniques that they learned. They also received several resources to use while sharing their newly gained knowledge along with new supplies and equipment to take back to their school cafeterias to use throughout the year.
|Terry Jordan, Director of Child Nutrition, recognizes the graduates, Dale Simmerman and Cheryl Hurley.|