School Nutrition Manager Mitzi Marshall has achieved national acclaim as the 2012 national Louise Sublette Award winner. This accomplishment marks the highest honor of distinction in the field of school nutrition and has been a dream in the making for years.
Marshall is a 16 year veteran at Southern Elementary School spending four years as a classroom assistant. She answered the call to move to the cafeteria 12 years ago, serving as manager for the last seven. Before winning the national award this year Marshall received the highest award at the state level four times amid worthy competition from every school district in the state. Marshall won the Louise Sublette award for our nine-state region twice.
Ask Bryan Blankenship, Principal at Southern Elementary School, and he will tell you Marshall is leader among leaders in his building. "Mrs. Marshall promotes the true meaning of Invitational Learning by the leadership she provides within her cafeteria."
Her leadership and innovation have taken many forms, all of which have helped Marshall earn her status as a national trend-setter in school nutrition. Projects designed to meet the needs of the boys and girls at Southern Elementary include the Student Spotlight. Brave students try new foods and plan the entire menu for the school for a day using knowledge of the five food groups to make healthy choices. Above all, Marshall is an educator.
With the support of Blankenship, the school staff and her colleagues in the cafeteria at Southern, Marshall has reinvented the Lunchable to provide a more healthful option for a popular trend. She has also provided Smiley Meals complete with a treat, developed a school garden and revamped her breakfast program with back to basics cooking. These activities, and many more, take place all while serving an average of 250 breakfast and 615 lunch meals daily.
When asked why she has chosen this career Mitzi Marshall is quick to reply, “I love the kids. I feel we really make a difference in their lives. There is always something new and exciting in a school when you are surrounded by children.”
“Food is love,” according to Marshall and the feeling is mutual for her students. When fifth grade students were given the opportunity to say goodbye to a favorite adult in the building last year they formed a line out the cafeteria door.
Marshall is content with her national award and has chosen this year to pass the torch. She works with fellow nutrition managers to develop new ideas for other schools in the district and would love to see her friends and colleagues recognized for their hard work and dedication to Scott County Schools.