Alachua County Food & Nutrition Services
Employees of the Month
Samantha Baker, Newberry Elementary School
December 2017 Employee of the Month
I nominate Samantha for employee of the month because she goes above and beyond everyday to ensure our students get the best quality nutritional meals offered on our YC menu. She is an amazing team player and never hesitates to lend a helping hand to our staff. She never misses work and is always on time and ready to take care of the kids and she does it with pleasure. She is a wonderful part of our team and definitely deserves this recognition.
Kijofa Ellis, Fort Clarke Middle School
November 2017 Employee of the Month
Kijofa loves his job and enjoys working with the kids. His customer service goes above and beyond whats expected. Anything I ask him to do beyond his normal duties he does it without question and takes pride in everything he does. He is a team player and is willing to help wherever he is needed. He knows all the kids by name and takes the time to make them smile.
Matt Goolsby, Idylwild Elementary
October 2017 Employee of the Month
Matt came to us right out of school as a volunteer. He volunteered from January 2017 through the summer, and was hired at the beginning of this school year. He has been a great asset to our team. He always has a smile, and positive attitude, regardless of the challenges. He often has to ride public transportation to get to work, and has never been late to work. He has perfect attendance. When Hurricane Irma struck, a tree destroyed his family home. They lost everything, and relocated to a family member’s house. Matt was able to save his work uniforms from the house, and Matt was ready to work the first day back to school after the storm. Matt has not missed a day of work through all of the hardships he has recently faced. Matt's positive attitude is contagious, and we appreciate all of his hard work.
Linda Grimmage, Lake Forest Elementary
September 2017 Employee of the Month
Linda has been with food service for 33 years. She is the main dish cook but knows every position in the kitchen. She does not hesitate to help her team mates out. When she is finished with her cook/prep she doesn't need further instruction, she looks around to see who needs help and she jumps right in. She also serves lunch at Loften and the kids love her. They refer to her as grandma and some come through the line just to see her. She goes out of her way to speak to everyone who comes through the kitchen and makes everyone feel welcome. She is definitely a much needed team member and she strives everyday to do her best!
Walter Markham, Westwood Middle School
May 2017 Employee of the Month
I would like to nominate Walter Markham as employee of the month. Walter came to us at the beginning of the year. He was retired from Shands hospital where he supervised the food service department. He soon realized he needed to stay busy and wanted to find something he could do to serve the children in his area. He always comes in with a smile always speaks to everyone. We serve anywhere from 290 to 340 chicken popper and fries every day and Walter dose this position with consistency and the food is always hot and fresh. Walter also finds time to help his fellow employees with their tasks. Walter is not only there for his peers many days I find him trying to help the students also. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t ask if there is something he can do for myself and the staff at Westwood. He is a great asset to our team and I am very happy to have him as a part of our team.
Lashanda Martin, PK Yonge
April 2017 Employee of the Month
Since the first day she walked in the door, we all knew she would be a great fit to our team. The training was easy and we only have to tell her once to do anything, she is a team player 100%. It’s hard to find someone like her and we are honored and privileged to have her on our team. She pays attention to detail and works with pride. She always has a smile and never complains, never complains!!!!!
Lisa Morello, Newberry High School
March 2017 Employee of the Month
Lisa is a new Staff member to Food Service. She comes in everyday with a smile and a happy word to all. She greets the kids with a happy and cheerful disposition. She takes time to explain the main dish and black box items to each group of students. They seem to respond to her in kind. She makes our salad, bread and veggies with a great amount of enthusiasm. She follows the recipes and is always ready to serve on the line with a pep in her step. She brings great joy and kindness to our HIGH-schoolers..... this can be a challenge. I wish we had more like her work ethic and high standards in our kitchen. I am very happy to have her in my kitchen and thank her for her hard work.
Janet Jenkins, Irby Elementary
February 2017 Employee of the Month
Last year in June I was very nervous because I was losing an employee to retirement after 22 years of her service. My search began and lasted most of the summer. I interviewed and no one gave me that feeling that they could fill the shoes of Nancy. Then Janet came in and I knew I had been blessed. Here she was right in front of me willing to do anything and everything. When we started the New Year she came in and to say she fit right in is an understatement. This year we also started the FFVP, It seems no matter what I throw at her she shines every day. When her work is finished she jumps right in to help who may need it. I have seen Janet tie shoes, fix the buttons on their pants an jacket even help them when their shirts are inside out. She is just wonderful to the children and staff. I am extremely lucky to have her on my team! I truly hope that she will be acknowledged.
January 2017 Employee of the Month
Dee after working in food service for 11 years she has completed the work required for promotion to Food Service Asst. II. Dee does all our fruit, veggies, and bread for the day. Dee insures our main line is set-up to perfection. Dee also take care of doing the veggie prep for our satellite school. Dee is in charge of cleaning and re-filling our condiment containers. If I'm in need of something done or a person to come in early, stay late Dee is always the first to volunteer. Thank you for considering Dee for this nomination she really deserves the recognition.
December 2016 Employee of the Month
Kathryn Nelson, Terwilliger Elementary
I would like to nominate Kathryn Nelson for this honor. Kathryn has worked here for many years as a main dish cook, cashier, leader, and everything in between. She always goes the extra mile to make the students and faculty happy and healthy. She enables our staff to become better with her wisdom and experience. We our very privileged to have her on our team and hope that she will be considered for this honor.
November 2016 Employee of the Month
Gioia Fernandez, Idylwild Elementary
Gioia has a wonderful attitude towards the work load at Idylwild. She is positive and upbeat. She cashiers and is so friendly with our lil customers. Helping them to make the right choices and seeing that they get what they want too. Our ice cream sales have doubled due to her great salesmanship! She lets us know whenever there is an issue but always makes sure our students come first in quality and service. Gioia gets along with everyone here and is eager to help others when she can. She stays very busy all day and is a great asset to our productivity. I feel Gioia Fernandez deserves employee of the month.
October 2016 Employee of the Month
Paul Clyronomides, Buchholz High School
Paul is a very valuable staff member here at BHS. Paul goes above and beyond his job duties, he stepped up to be main dish cook when the position became available. Not only is he main dish, he also prepares food for an outside Galley and cashiers during lunch. Paul steps in and helps everyone in the kitchen, never misses work and stays or comes in early when we are short staffed without complaint. He helps make our kitchen run smoother and is more than willing to make any improvements that will help our participation improve. P.S not many of our gentlemen staff members have been acknowledged and this would be the perfect opportunity. :)
September 2016 Employee of the Month
Loretta Mallory, Gainesville High School
I would like for Loretta to be considered for this honor. Loretta started with me in Jan. of 2016 and has been my best hire. She comes in and goes right to work getting all the Salads, Hoagies, Bistro boxes, and PB&J bags done for the day (my cold line has never looked so good or sold more). She keeps her area spotless including her refrigerator. When she is done Loretta will go around and clean what ever she can fine to clean or help out the other staff members with their jobs. Loretta is never one to stand around I never have to ask her to do something because she is already done and it moving on to the next thing.
May 2016 Employee of the Month
Pat Tillman, Duval Early Learning Academy
Pat is an excellent employee. From the first day I walked in to Duval to sub as an intern she has been an inspiration as well as a help. Pat works hard to complete her tasks efficiently but never loses sight of quality work. She encourages the other staff by helping out whenever and wherever she can.
April 2016 Employee of the Month
Shawanta Williams, Buchholz High School
I would like to nominate Shawanta Williams for employee of the month. She has been with FS for over 10 years and has taken every role that has been given to her without complaint. She runs our cafe in the 9th grade center and runs her on breakfast line out in the courtyard. She steps in to help out when anyone needs it and doesn't mind helping when we are short staffed. She is very deserving of this award so please vote for her. Thank you
March 2016 Employee of the Month
Teresa Wagley, Idylwild Elementary
Please join me in recognizing Teresa Wagley as employee of the month. Teresa rarely misses work. She is dependable and hard working. Teresa has been with us sense 2001. She has cross trained in every position in the kitchen. She often steps up when others need help without asking her to and can fill in without missing a beat when another staff is out. Teresa helps to keep things running smoothly in our tight and hectic kitchen. Teresa is positive and smiling regardless of the situation and exhibits all the qualities of employee of the month.
Thank you, Kathleen Reynolds
February 2016 Employee of the Month
Vashtye Sales, PK Yonge
I would like to recommend Vashtye for employee of the month. As a senior member on our staff, the last month has been very challenging for us and she has not only stepped up and helped the team she has excelled in her own job performance. With no complaining she has jumped in where needed and directed team members to complete their tasks.
We are glad we have her on our staff.
January 2016 Employee of the Month
Christine Hankerson, Gainesville High School
I would like to nominate Chris for this honor. She has been the main dish cook for three years now and really come into her own. Chris has taken control of the main line and made it her own, she insures we are following YC procedures at all times making sure her line look superb. Chris has also taken over the job of vending making sure the machines stay stocked at all times putting the product in the machines were they look the best. If I need someone to do extra Chris is always there with a smile on her face. The students absolutely love her she knows most by name and what they want without the students asking for it. I could not replace her if I tried she has worked for food service since 1992 and improves every year always learning and always wanting to do more. Please consider Chris for this Honor.
December 2015 Employee of the Month
Kijofa Ellis, Fort Clarke Middle School
After three years of working with Kijofa, I know I can always count on him for anything. If I need him to come in early or stay late he is there. If my Main Dish cook is out Kijofa steps up to the plate and does Main Dish plus his own normal duties. He is always helping to come up with new inventive ways to bring more students through the lines. He always makes sure to smile and say good morning. Kijofa is a very hard worker and I am nominating him because I appreciate everything he does every single day.
November 2015 Employee of the Month
Celeste Nelson, Fort Clarke Middle School
There are a lot of things that I can say about Ms. Tee, she is ALWAYS willing to go above and beyond her daily duties even if she is not asked to do so. She will come in early to make sure that everything is ready and will stay late if something is wrong to try and help make it right. She is hard working, rarely takes time off and when she does is willing to change her scheduled time off just to make sure that I do not have to struggle. She knows her stuff and when we have to make changes even though they may sometimes be last minute she does them and makes sure that the students have a great meal.
October 2015 Employee of the Month
Dharmi Patel, Gainesville High School
I would like to recognize Dharmi, at the end of the year she broke her arm and was unable to work due to the injury. She has come back with a renew focus on her job. Dharmi comes in ready to go smile on her face and a wonderful attitude. She has been given new jobs all around, she has started serving breakfast at our Ala-cart line and moved to the front for cashiering lunch. I was trying to give her a break because she always served the most students at lunch on her Ala-cart line last year, No break was to be had her students found her and changed lines to be in her line. I don't know what I would do without her she makes my day every day. Thank you for considering Dharmi for this honor.
September 2015 Employee of the Month
Anna McCray, PK Yonge
We would like to nominate Anna for employee of the month. We have taken on feeding another site of 170 students and foster grandparents. Ms Anna has done an exceptional job with this transition. This is our first year with a satellite and even though at times it is overwhelming Ms Anna does it with a smile and a great attitude. On the first Friday of school she called me at 4:30 in the morning and had been up all night with her husband but reassured me that she would be in and would leave early. She did not leave until 1:30. Ms Anna takes her job to heart and does it with grace and dignity no matter what is going on in her personal life.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our team.
May 2015 Employee of the Month
Chrissy Tyner, Newberry High
Chrissy is the perfect employee, she works well with all the staff including subs and students volunteers. She takes her job very serious while ALWAYS smiling and laughing at every turn. Chrissy performs her duties at the highest level. She fills in for the Manager and performs all her duties and mangers as well. She is willing to learn new tasks including the MPP program. Chrissy was asked to help complete the MPP for a sister school while the manager was out for 2 weeks. Chrissy takes all the classes offered to better herself in her job. The joy she takes in her job is wonderful to work with. This is what I call a Wonder women!!
April 2015 Employee of the Month
Chi Cheung, Idylwild Elementary
I nominate Chi Cheung for employee of the month. Chi always has a good attitude and goes above and beyond to ensure excellence while demonstrating her meek demeanor in all she does. She shows interest in learning and is in the career ladder classes. You can always depend on Chi to have a smile and concern for others. She is very talented in Food Art and has blessed us with many amazing creations! Always looking for new things to share with Idylwild students and Faculty. She lights up while serving on line when the students see her work and are in awe. Chi is an exceptional employee and I believe deserves the honer of being chosen as employee of the month.
March 2015 Employee of the Month
Germaine Henderson, Gainesville High
I would like to nominate Germaine, when we came back to school after winter holidays someone or two has called in sick had family members pass away or doctor’s appointment every week. Germaine has been my go to girl she has come in early, stayed late, and comes in at the last minute. She has done every job in the kitchen from main dish, cashiering and serving. Germaine has done this all without one complaint, smiling and laughing all the while. I don't know how we would have managed without her. She also works another job and in her spare time.Â She is taking classes now for Food Service Assistant II. I strong feel she needs to be rewarded for all she done. If I needed her tomorrow she'd be there.
February 2015 Employee of the Month
Blanche Mahamery, Mebane Middle
I am nominating her again because I feel she deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to her job. She is always so willing to help were needed and has help me out a lot since I have become the manager here at Mebane Middle. Blanche is very knowledgeable and helps the newer staff in the kitchen when the need help and she never gets upset when asked to do something. I am glad to have her on my team she is a Great Team Player.
January 2015 Employee of the Month
Joy Simmons, Meadowbrook Elementary
Joy is such a big part of our kitchen. She is always dependable and a team player. She runs the whole back of the kitchen! Keeps hot fresh food coming throughout the day! She gets along with everyone! Students and staff as well love her. I don't know what I would do without this outstanding employee!!!! When I am out she carries on with ease! She also cashiers breakfast! She does it all :):):)
December 2014 Employee of the Month
Gary Gainey, Irby Elementary
Gary is a conscientious and reliable employee who takes pride in the food he prepares for the students. As a manager who arrived at Irby two days before the school year started, Gary helped the transition go seamlessly. From being a solid main dish cook to helping with recipe development and everywhere in-between, he excels at what he does.
As the main dish cook, Gary produces tasty meals that students, teachers and staff rave about on a regular basis. School Board Member, April Griffin, said his greens are off the chain and Blake thought his lima beans were epic (I am paraphrasing here). Gary takes great pride in producing a quality product and provides constructive criticism to help improve the food we serve.
Gary's talents are not limited to food production. He played an integral role in developing the recipe for Dr. Robert's Pasta Primavera. In addition, he mentors his great nephew, Seven. Each week, Gary uses his break time to have lunch with Seven. During this time they catch up on what's going on with friends and school.
Overall, Gary is a well-rounded and I am more than honored to nominate him as a candidate for Food & Nutrition's December Employee of the Month.
November 2014 Employee of the Month
Karen McClellan, Norton Elementary
Karen is an outstanding staff member who puts forth 110% effort every day. She arrives to work with a positive attitude and immediately begins her tasks for the day. Not only is she able to complete her tasks but she is always willing to lend a hand to her fellow team members. Karen is a team player at Norton, but she is also a team player for the district. She, very willingly, worked at another location for two weeks to help while they were short staffed. Karen has also been a vital part of helping Norton to pilot the supper program. Karen is a pleasure to work with and deserves to be recognized for her efforts as an outstanding employee.
October 2014 Employee of the Month
Vetrona Sheppard, Idylwild Elementary
Vetrona Sheppard is positive and cool during the most stressful times. She usually serves over 600 students without a break sharing the same smile and friendly service for the last as the first students received. She goes above and beyond to ensure our students get the best of care. She prepares our FFVP and does an outstanding job. Vetrona does not hesitate to make me aware of anything that needs to be brought to my attention and is ready to make any changes as they arise.
September 2014 Employee of the Month
Janice Frison, Norton Elementary
Janice is an exemplary employee and deserves to be recognized for her hard work. She comes to work every day on time, with a smile on her face. Her attitude is always upbeat and positive and she is willing to help anyone at any time. It is clear that Janice loves her work as she does it, without hesitation, to the best her ability. The students respond well to her friendly demeanor and contagious smile as she lovingly serves them. Janice has also worked very hard, on her own personal time, to complete the Career Ladder Course so that she can be even better at her job. Janice is a shining example of what it means to be a school food service employee and deserves to be recognized as such.
May 2014 Employee of the Month
Gloria Bosma, Idylwild Elementary
Gloria was hired as food service assistant for Alachua County over 20 years ago. She is a hard worker that keeps a smile on her face and encourages everyone around her regardless of how she may feel. She never fails to jump in and help bare the load of her fellow staff. When things get stressful or pushed for time she will break out in song, sometimes something silly that gets every one tickled. Gloria takes her job very seriously though always striving for perfection. She has a great love for the children we serve and it shows. Many times when she knows a child is in need she does her best to meet that need. At holidays she donates gifts through the office for the children so not to get credit for the selfless acts of kindness she does. Gloria is an active member of the Alachua County Food and Nutrition Association, she is also active in her church and sings in the choir. Gloria is a pleasure to work with and I believe deserves the recognition of employee of the month.
April 2014 Employee of the Month
Linda Mihalisin, Talbot Elementary
Linda is an exceptional employee. From day one, she has gone above and beyond. Linda always has a warm smile and friendly service for all the children that come into our serving line. When we were in a pinch, she had no problem staying to help. Anything I have asked her to do, she has done readily and with a joyful heart. Not to mention her salads look absolutely delicious!!!
March 2014 Food & Nutrition Services Employee of the Month
Doris Porter, Norton Elementary
Doris is in one word "amazing”! She does whatever needs to be done, without having to be asked. A few weeks ago it was just her and I on a Pizza Friday. I never heard a word of complaint from her the entire day. We laughed and joked most of the day! She makes coming to work fun. I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone. We recently hired new staff members, she helped them to feel comfortable and helped them with their work. She is always the first to work and last to leave. She never leaves anyone if they are still working. She helps out with the kids, making sure they have what is needed. She hugs them, plays with them. Takes time to notice if they have new clothes or have gotten a haircut. The kitchen just does not run the same when she is out. Not that she is out much, she misses a day or two a year, and those days are never for her. Always for family that might need her, or to attend a funeral. She is the heart of our kitchen, and I would be at a loss without her!
February 2014 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Linda Ray, Lincoln Middle
Linda is such a great employee. She is always willing to help her co-workers. Linda takes care of the head start program at Prairie View and the staff and students just love her. Linda also helps with the school board/Kiwanis club annual World’s Greatest Baby Shower each year. Linda has never been late to work and always comes to work with a positive attitude.
January 2014 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Maravic Meyer, Finley Elementary
Maravic has been working at Finley since 10/06. She goes above and beyond the expected in kindness and thoughtfulness when helping both students and staff. She has been the kitchen’s Hospitality representative for the past six years, and she has always supported all activities for teachers and staff, with time, energy, ideas and her cooked food.
Maravic is Alachua County’s Food Service Association’s Vice President for 2012-2014 and will then be the President of the Association starting in February for 2014-2016.
Maravic has been a Girl Scout Troup leader for the last seven years influencing many of Finley’s young women in a positive manner.
Maravic is active in Westwood Middle School’s Parent and Student combined health and fitness program.
For the last seven years, while her two children were at Finley, she was very active in the PTA volunteering at all their events with either her time, food or both.
She was one of the highest participant mileage walker contributors helping Finley to win $1000 first place in the county’s Walking Works wellness program.
Maravic always gives 110% at everything she does; while cashiering for the last 4 years her money accuracy has been 100% correct, all the while making students feel important and making sure they get a complete meal.
She is a hard worker and is always a peace maker in every activity she participates in for staff or students.
December 2013 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Beverly Rowe, Gainesville High
I would like to nominate Bev. At the start of school she had the duty of training our new employee Erica; she took this challenge on with no complaints. Then we lost Erica due to over staffing. Bev had to adjust again to a new partner, again she took this on with no complaints having to set up and prepare all the food for both lines. Bev is one of the most easy going no problem people I know. She gets the short end of the stick a lot of the time and I would like for her to know I do appreciate all she does.
November 2013 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Delia White, Alachua Elementary
Delia is a very hard working, dedicated employee. She always has a cheerful smile, wishes everyone good morning, and is great with the children. (Taking a personal interest in them) Delia always strives to give her best, is honest and will always go above and beyond what is required. (Staying to complete a job even using her own time, despite my requests). Every kitchen needs one employee with these virtues. I am proud she is a part of the Alachua Team and Alachua County School Food Service.
October 2013 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Dawan Lomwong, Santa Fe High
The one word to describe this employee is AWESOME. If I am unable to take care of an area in the kitchen this employee will carry the load. She will jump from station to station to help other employees after she has completed all her tasks. She doesn’t have to be asked to do anything, keeps smiling all day and will redirect other employees to help others before getting help for herself. HIGHLY RECOMENDED!!
September 2013 Food & Nutrition Employee of the Month
Marietta Williams, High Springs Community
Marietta is an awesome lady that takes her work very seriously yet knows how to have fun, smile and be a friend to all her co-workers and Customers.
She is highly praised by all in our kitchen for her craftiness when it comes to making salads look extra special. She takes much pride in everything she does.
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