College meals and diet employees win numerous awards Gretna



Gretna is noticing those who are working in school kitchens in public schools.

Recently, a number of awards have been presented to GPS Food and Nutrition Services staff.

Lori Waterman, who works at Gretna Middle School, was recognized by the Nebraska School Nutrition Association as the Nebraska School Nutrition Staff of the Year.

Waterman has been with GPS FANS for over 10 years.

“Its duration is very admirable,” Schaefer said.

This year, the new GMS FANS manager named Waterman. He was also appointed by his former director in the past.

“We had two managers who work very differently.‘ This person stands out, ’” Schaefer said. “He has leadership skills in the workplace. He helps his colleagues and looks after the students. ”

In addition to his usual workload, he finds areas for improvement in the kitchen, Schaefer said. For example, Waterman completely reorganized dry storage to alleviate its function.

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“He will be responsible for finding solutions,” Schaefer said.

Waterman also attends training sessions and meetings as a volunteer to help work on special committees.

“I’ve noticed in recent years that Lori has been the person who says ‘I’m here.’ I’m happy to help,” Schaefer said.

Waterman said he was “completely impressed” with the nomination, “even less so with the win.”

“I love what I do and the people I work with are awesome,” he said. “I try to do my job the best I can. It’s hard work for everyone and we keep busy. I try to find ways to help as much as I can. The kids are great and it makes me feel good when I go home and I know I’ve tried.”

It was the third year that a GPS FANS employee was named Nebraska School Nutrition Manager of the Year. That title was for Sherry Bennett of Falling Waters Elementary School.

Sharon Schaefer, director of GPS FANS, said she sends an email to Gretna every year, asking all schools to suggest nominations.

“Mostly because I couldn’t choose a favorite manager, I love them all so much and every employee comes to the table with strengths,” he said. “I personally don’t name employees personally. I wonder if they think someone in their kitchen deserves it and can fill out a Google form. ”

From there, Schaefer analyzes the nominations and data to see if it best fits the award titles.

“Does the SNA want to show how they help their community outside the workplace, how they help colleagues and classmates, how they create a positive image of school nutrition?

“It’s not so much the perfect attendance or making the best spaghetti and meat sauce. We need to see this very well-formed partner in the whole Gretna community. ”

Schaefer said Bennett was nominated by all sorts of Falling Waters colleagues, including principals, teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals and school nurses. Of the 37 nominations for a director at Gretna, nearly 30 were for Bennett.

“It was undeniable that he had to be the person I introduced him to,” Schaefer said.

Bennett has only been with GPS FANS for a year, but has nearly 10 years of experience in school nutrition.

“When Faling Waters needed help outside the kitchen, their Fun Run, for example, was there early to help set it up,” Schaefer said. “He doesn’t look at Falling Waters’ role as’ I cook, I serve food. ‘Falling Waters is really part of the community and has spent a lot of his personal time.

As Gretna’s new manager, he put his staff together to form a wall of family photos. This wall indicates the “why” of the staff.

“I thought it was a great way to have a new person and bring that group together,” Schaefer said. “And the kids say their food is amazing. He has achieved a high grade in all areas, which is difficult to find. ”

Bennett said he was humbled and honored to receive the award, which was presented as a surprise at a school-wide assembly.

I can easily say that I love my job, my colleagues, the school staff and the students at Falling Waters Elementary. ”

His staff at Falling Waters saw him as the key to success.

“We enjoy working with students,” Bennett said. “This is their school and we try to get a positive atmosphere, so every day is very good for them.”

When I received the award, the children put out posters and posters showing support for my staff, which was wonderful, “she said.

In addition to the GPS FANS winning the School Nutrition Association Awards, the staff was honored as the 2022 Nebraska School Nutrition Hero by the Nebraska Student Nutrition Action Committee.

Five people were also nominated and honored through the SNAC: Patty Jones, principal of Aspen Creek Middle School; Pam Heon, food service worker; Charleen Henry, kitchen director at Harvest Hills Elementary; Harry Lanzourakis, chef at Palisades Elementary School, and Schaefer himself, director of FANS.

This appointment form was also sent to all Gretna employees to make appointments.

“In addition to naming people, GPS named more people than any other school district in Nebraska,” Schaefer said. “I’m pretty proud of that. I feel like we have a really outstanding program and a very high level of community recognition. ”

Schaefer said he appreciates the GPS community caring for each other.

“Gretna has been constantly on hand to submit nominations and show their appreciation and appreciation,” he said. “I think that’s the step we stand for. We will stop what we are doing to ensure that this appreciation is shared.

“I hope the culture continues. All of this is very important to get back to the people who are talking hard. I will spread that love and joy in every opportunity. ”

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