Do you have good memories eating school meals as a student?
I still remember my elementary school cook, whose name was Ann. She made the best homemade wheat, pull-apart rolls, ever.
Please share a little of your K-12 school nutrition journey.
When the head cook position opened in our small district—enrollment is under 500—several people approached me about applying, and I did. Now, I’m the director, but the best part of my job is when I get to serve the students. Nothing beats that!
I’ve been a member of SNA since 2009 and have attended eight Annual National Conferences. The first—and my favorite—was in Nashville. So many wonderful people took me under their wings. Each year, we reconnect and make more memories.
What are your favorite TV series to binge-watch and why?
I love medical dramas like “The Good Doctor” and “Chicago Med.” When I was in high school, I had planned to go into health care. Now, I’ve recently completed an EMT course, and I look forward to serving my community as a volunteer first responder.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
As a teenager, you know everything! But I would tell my younger self to listen to her parents—they truly do know everything. I’d also advise her to cherish her family, while making time for herself.
What would you put in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years?
I’ve never created a time capsule—that would be something fun to do! I’d put in pictures, an iPhone, school menus, news articles about COVID-19, popular candy and music CDs.
If you didn’t need sleep, what would you do instead?
I’d spend more time with my new granddaughter! I also enjoy crafting with my Cricut cutting machine.
If you couldn’t work in school nutrition, what would be your next dream job?
I’d still love to be a part of the school world. My top pick would probably be working in mental health and creating bonds with those students who are struggling.
What three wishes would you ask a genie to grant?
First, I’d asked to meet my grandma, who passed way before I was born. Next, I’d want everyone to have equal opportunities for health and happiness. No one in the world should ever have to starve or go without health care. Finally, I’d wish to never worry again about all the things I have no control over!
Is there someone famous who inspires you?
Actually, the people in my life are the ones who inspire me the most! The local church ladies who create a giving tree at Christmas, the administrators in my district who pick up weekend backpacks full of food for students in need, the ladies in my kitchen who work hard, but still volunteer to raise funds for our Angel Care program, the teachers and paras who spend extra hours of their own time to change a life—these are my people!