It’s School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week in Virginia.

Our sincere gratitude goes out to all of our dedicated cafeteria employees and to Lisa Landrum, Supervisor of School Nutrition. Lisa has been recognized statewide for her innovative approach to school nutrition, pioneering locally grown food programs in our schools and being heralded by Richmond’s Style Magazine for maintaining the cleanest school cafeterias in the region.

In particular, the cafeteria managers have worked tirelessly and deserve our congratulations. In Lisa’s own words,

 ”The mangers have really been the champions….they attended summer and fall training sessions and worked diligently with each staff to insure compliance with the new regulations as well as taking summer classes for their Servsafe certifications.  Mrs. Hawk accompanied me to the School Nutrition Association State Conference in March and received additional training on the upcoming breakfast pattern changes, food allergies and nutrition classes to share with her fellow employees. These ladies all go above and beyond their assigned duties!”


Each day this week, in honor of School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week, one school cafeteria manager will be featured on our superintendent’s blog.

Our school cafeteria managers are:

  • Elsie Harris, GHS/GMS
  • Lora Pearson, Assistant at GHS/GMS
  • Cynthia Allen, GES
  • Robin Hawk, RES
  • Carol Pleasants, BES


The latest Quarterly Newsletter of the Goochland Extension Office is available now. Please take a look at the wonderful things happening in our county. Specifically in this issue, there are many opportunities for summer camp and workshop experiences – for al ages.

We are honored to continue our partnership with Jocelyn Daily, Goochland Extension Agent, and to promote the inspirational things the county is providing for our community.

Today’s countywide Arts Festival was an amazing display of music, drama, and visual arts.

Our sincere appreciation goes out to our entire team of K-12 fine arts professionals for bringing it all to life today – and all year long in our classrooms, on our performance fields, and on stage.

One of the topics that finds its way into so many of our strategic planning and mission/vision conversations this year is the idea of what Seymore Papert calls, “Hard Fun.” A few nights ago, during a school board work session on the strategic plan, the superintendent voiced what our leadership team espouses so passionately, that we want learning to be fun.

I’ve attended meetings in the past where people have been skeptical of public school classrooms, especially given the more recent emphasis on creative strategies and a de-emphasis on “sage-on-the-stage” lecture. I join the superintendent in hoping to capture the hearts and minds of our students in lessons that are, indeed, fun.

But it isn’t entertainment we’re after. We aren’t trying to appease children or sidestep the necessary disciplines that students need to adopt as they develop character and learn responsible citizenship. On the contrary. Hard fun in the classroom actually requires those disciplines and helps to establish them, much moreso that its over-worn counterparts from yesteryear.

Hard fun indicates that students are hooked by a fascination and determination that leads them to pour themselves into what they’re learning. If you’ve ever seen a young child relentlessly trying to set the last block on top[ of a staggering tower of several previously lain blocks, you’ll recognize the relentless persistence that accompanies hard fun. It isn’t entertainment. It isn’t easy.

It’s engaging.

That’s what we’re after. We’re looking for instruction that causes children to call their work “fun” because it’s hard rather than in spite of being hard…



School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week is May 6-10, 2013.  Please join us in recognizing the important contributions that school nutrition employees provide to the success of Virginia’s students.  Celebrate the professional commitments made every school day by school nutrition employees across the Commonwealth.  The importance and nutritional value of school meals are well documented.  For many children, school lunch is the most important and nutrient-rich meal of their day.

Between preparing healthy meals for Virginia’s students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are integral to the success of our students.  To kick off School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week, Friday, May 3 is designated as School Lunch Superhero Day. The day aims to highlight the ways in which school nutrition professionals make a difference for every child who comes through the cafeteria.  School nutrition employees must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state, and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools.  They provide nutrition education to students and use their creativity to make the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place. The new federal nutrition standards for school meals went into effect this school year.  These new standards are intended to ensure that every school lunch provides students a well-balanced meal offering low-fat or fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.  School meals also meet limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats.  The professionals in school nutrition have embraced these changes with enthusiasm.

School Nutrition Employee Week is designated to remind the school community that school nutrition employees are critical staff that deserve recognition.  It is the perfect opportunity to recognize the hardworking professionals in school cafeterias.  Let these professionals know you appreciate their work.

GCPS community and staff,

You are undoubtedly aware that we initiated lockdown procedures at Randolph Elementary School this morning when a staff member witnessed an unidentified individual near the campus with a shotgun. With immediate assistance from the Sheriff, we were able to determine that the individual was a hunter and posed no threat to the safety of the school.

A letter will be distributed to parents of Randolph Elementary students this afternoon containing all pertinent details related to the incident and our response. I am proud of the way our staff and community handled the matter today.

Please join me in reaffirming that our staff and emergency responders are working diligently around the clock, every day, to ensure our schools are safe.