FuelCastSep 13, 2023
Fact or Fiction: School Meals are for All
Are school meals for all?
FuelCast Season 3 is all about fact or fiction! We're here to set the record straight on some of the school nutrition industry's biggest myths.
In this month's ALL NEW episode, Georgia School Nutrition Compliance Specialist Trae Cown joins us to discuss the idea that school meals are for all students regardless of grade level, income, or dietary restrictions.
Fact or Fiction: Do School Nutrition Professionals Cook?
Do school nutrition professionals really cook school meals?
FuelCast Season 3 is all about fact or fiction! We’re here to set the record straight on some of the school nutrition industry’s biggest myths.
In this month’s ALL NEW episode, Chef Vanessa Hayes joins us to discuss the tremendous role culinary skills combined with scratch and speed-scratch cooking play in local school nutrition programs.
Fueling Georgia's Future with Superintendent Richard Woods
In the season 2 finale episode of FuelCast, we are joined by Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods who shares tremendous insight on the importance of school nutrition and food-based learning to the overall educational experience. He follows this with his sincere thanks for the thousands of men and women who work every day to fuel Georgia's future. This engaging interview sheds a new light on what it means to #LoveWhatYouDo.
Focused on Food Based Learning with Dublin City's Pamela Jones
In this all new FuelCast episode, Dublin City School's Nutrition Director Pamela Jones chimes in on the benefits she has witnessed in her school district resulting from a heightened focus on food-based learning. She provides upbeat anecdotes and actionable tips and tricks on how to take school nutrition out of the cafeteria and into the academic school day. You won't want to miss this shining example of how Georgia school nutrition professionals #LoveWhatYouDo.
A New Partnership in Georgia School Nutrition
April is Autism Acceptance Month. In this month’s NEW FuelCast episode, we are excited to discuss a new career partnership coming to local Georgia school nutrition programs.
Social Learning in School Nutrition with Muscogee County Parent Rebekah
In this month’s NEW FuelCast episode, we sit down with Muscogee County parent Rebekah to discuss how eating school meals helped lead to the discovery of her son's eventual Autism diagnosis and why, in her opinion, eating school meals continues to be critical to his social and emotional learning.
Aiming for Innovation with Thomas County's Dr. Lauren Duplantis
In her three years as Thomas County School Nutrition Director and Wellness Coordinator, Dr. Lauren Duplantis has prioritized innovation and growth.
In this month’s NEW FuelCast episode, Lauren shares the unique background that led her to school nutrition and how that helps shape her viewpoint and program.
The Power of Promotion with Whitfield County's Angie Brown
Whitfield County School Nutrition has won Georgia Tray of the Week an incredible seven times, more than any other school district in contest history, mostly thanks to their impressive and wide reaching marketing and promotion. In this all new FuelCast episode, Whitfield School Nutrition Director Angie Brown explains her marketing strategy and the power she sees in program promotion.
A Student Chef Success Story
Listeners will be blown away by the energy and wisdom of Halle and Walker Barrett, Hall County students, and winners of the 2022 Southeast Regional Junior Chef Competition. Find out how the sibling duo got involved in the student chef competition, the benefits they have seen from participating and the advice they have for other students looking to do the same.
Championing a Culinary Arts Education with Putnam County's Penny Reynolds
After a more than 30 year stretch in the classroom, Penny Reynolds was simply not done connecting students with their passion for the Culinary Arts. Her 2016 retirement from the Carson City School District in Nevada made way for a new chapter on her journey, as she transitioned to Georgia to serve as Culinary Arts Instructor at Putnam County High School.
Five years later, Reynolds is credited with transforming the Putnam High School program into an award-winning enterprise that graduates students who are career-ready and focused on their next steps to succeed in the vast culinary arts field. Putnam County High School has gone on to become a four-time first place winner of the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program Student Chef Competition.
You won't want to miss this exciting, high energy episode where Penny explains how culinary arts connects to school nutrition, the opportunities culinary arts has provided her students and how the student chef competition impacts her student's lives.
Celebrating Farm to School Month with Holly Thaw and Barrow County's Nicole Trunk
October is National Farm to School Month!
What is farm to school and how does it impact Georgia students? In this FuelCast episode, we are joined by Holly Thaw, Georgia Department of Education Farm to School Specialist, to explain just how important farm to school programs are in Georgia schools. Nicole Trunk, school nutrition director in Barrow County Schools, follows Holly with a real world example of how a robust farm to school program operates in local school districts.
You won't want to miss these two passionate professionals sharing how farm to school has impacted their lives and how it influences them to #LoveWhatYouDo.
Fostering Parent Relationships
FuelCast season 2 is all about partnership and collaboration!
One of the most critical partnerships in school nutrition is that of school nutrition professionals and local parents. In this episode, Laurie Luckie, Carrollton City Schools parent and member of the Georgia Parent's Advisory Council and Carrollton City Schools Governance Council, discusses why she is a strong advocate of school nutrition and how she has developed a relationship with her local school staff. Laurie's daughter Anna Claire joins in the conversation to talk about her favorite school meals and how food based learning has strengthened her educational experience.
You won't want to miss this refreshing and energetic FuelCast episode that will inspire you to #LoveWhatYouDo!
Cultivating a Connected Community with Cartersville City's Christina Nichols and Coach Conor Foster
What do a school nutrition director and a head football coach have in common? It might be more than you think.
In this FuelCast episode, Christina Nichols, School Nutrition Director of Cartersville City Schools, and Coach Conor Foster, Head Coach of the Cartersville High School Football Team, discuss the ways collaboration is at the center of each of their respective programs. Through fun anecdotes and impactful dialogue, Christina shares some of the innovative strategies her program uses to reach every student, and the partnerships she has developed to make that goal a reality. One critical partnership is the one she shares with administration, teachers, and coaches. Coach Foster echoes her sentiment as he explains the tremendous benefits he sees in promoting school nutrition to his players and shares ways in which other coaches and teachers can do the same.
You won't want to miss these two absolutely delightful guests who will inspire you to #LoveWhatYouDo.
Promoting Partnership in School Nutrition with Douglas County's Danielle Freeman and Superintendent Trent North
Partnership is at the heart of a school nutrition program. That's why Danielle Freeman, Executive Director of School Nutrition in Douglas County Schools, is so grateful for the positive relationship she has build with her district's administration, lead by Superintendent Trent North. In this FuelCast episode, Danielle and Superintendent North discuss where their passion for school nutrition stems from, how they have developed their valuable partnership, and some of the creative ways they work together to promote quality school meals, professional development, and student and community engagement.
Special Edition: The Importance of Free & Reduced Meal Applications (Extended Version)
In this FuelCast Special Edition Episode, Dr. Linette Dodson, State Director of the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program, and Dr. Ken Banter, Georgia Department of Education Senior Title I Program Manager, speak to the tremendous benefits students, families, and school districts can receive from filling out the Free & Reduced Meal Application.
Special Edition: The Importance of Free & Reduced Meal Applications (Content Focused Version)
In this FuelCast Special Edition Episode, Dr. Linette Dodson, State Director of the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program, and Dr. Ken Banter, Georgia Department of Education Senior Title I Program Manager, speak to the tremendous benefits students, families, and school districts can receive from filling out the Free & Reduced Meal Application. This content focused version is designed to include the critical information in a short, sharable format.
Planting Seeds for Success with Clayton County's Chef James Jabbarr
"Training is important. Not just for the skill level, but to make sure the mind, the spirit, and the morals are...ready to thrive, ready to be mobile, ready to move forward." This is the philosophy Chef James Jabbarr, Culinary Trainer for Clayton County Schools, lives by every day. He has made it his mission to inspire others and show them that if he can do it, they can too.
In this episode, Chef James shares how growing up in a food insecure environment lead him to school nutrition, why he sees himself in each of the students he serves, and what it means to him to nourish students in the same village that nourished him. Chef James' passion for school nutrition shines through as he embodies what it means to #LoveWhatYouDo.
Becoming the Chief Joy Officer with Cobb County's Emily Hanlin
Emily Hanlin, Director of School Nutrition in Cobb County Schools, has become known to her staff as the CJO: Chief Joy Officer. Each day she leads her team to create a positive culture while they execute Cobb County School Nutrition's mission of Fueling Student Success. In this episode, Emily shares how she found her way from healthcare to school nutrition, how the pandemic has changed public perception of the importance of school meals, and why she says school nutrition professionals have the best job in the school district. We can't wait for you to meet Emily and see why she exemplifies what it means to #LoveWhatYouDo!
Conquering Challenges through Collaboration with Cherokee County's Tina Farmer
Tina Farmer, Director of School Nutrition at Cherokee County Schools, is a collaborator at heart. In this episode, Tina shares the dynamic ways she collaborates with local organizations, district administration, parents, and even her own children to run an award-winning school nutrition program. At the heart of it all is her dedication to servant leadership and determination to make sure all her students receive quality school meals regardless of circumstances. It's hard to not be inspired by this terrific example of why school nutrition professionals #lovewhatyoudo.
Agility and Accuracy in School Nutrition with Area Consultant Trae Cown
When Trae Cown set plans in motion to become a Registered Dietitian, he forecasted a long and rewarding career in the clinical field. However, exposure to both clinical and school nutrition work as part of his studies caused a shift in center – and the allure of serving children seemed irresistible. He started off as a School Nutrition Coordinator, working on areas such as menu planning, recipe development, and nutrition education. As he traversed many roles, including School Nutrition Director and now Area Consultant at the Georgia Department of Education, he takes with him the pride of having walked in the shoes of the people he now serves. And not only pride, but also empathy. In Trae’s words he has been there and so he’s laser focused on agility and accuracy when interfacing today with Georgia’s School Nutrition Directors.
The episode takes a fun turn, revealing what Trae calls his introverted quirks, his favorite school meals, and a hilarious but teachable experience with the exotic fruit ‘quince’. We can’t wait for you to meet the clearly not-the-introvert Trae Cown in this candid conversation that reveals why working in School Nutrition makes it easy to #LoveWhatYouDo!
Fuel, Fun, Fellowship - Shanté Williams sums up the Georgia School Nutrition Experience
Shanté Williams, Food Distribution Specialist on our State Agency team has seen the proverbial stars align as she brings her passion for service to the School Nutrition career she now calls home. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s in public health, she has demonstrated both skill and tenacity as she juggles several priorities for our team. These include coordinating the delivery of nutritious foods to statewide programs and serving as a member of our emergency coordination team. A proud alumna of Brooks County Schools, she talks just as passionately about her days in the cafeteria eating cheese-burger and breakfast pizza, as she does about the joy she derives from knowing her work helps keep students fed and learning. Fuel, Fun, Fellowship - three words she used, effortlessly, to describe the Georgia School Nutrition experience.
We can’t wait for you to meet Shanté, nature-lover, boy mom, and avid gardener in this very engaging episode of FuelCast!
Up close with our State Director, Dr. Linette Dodson
Dr. Linette Dodson, Georgia’s State Director of School Nutrition, from a vantage point like never before!
From walking down memory lane to the times she ate homemade mac and cheese in the school cafeteria, to recounting her entry into the world of School Nutrition, Dr. Dodson chronicles, in her calm and affable style, a fortuitous route to what she calls the ‘best job in the whole state’. She credits the success of Georgia School Nutrition, and her personal fulfillment steering the program, to strong Leadership at GaDOE, overwhelmingly strong talent and leadership at the local levels, and an inspired, passionate State Agency team.
But she’s more than School Nutrition guidelines, policy, and regulation; though quality school meals are her ‘main thing’, Dr. Dodson delights in a few other areas of life. Listen to hear revelations of her passion for family, regal past as a reigning Mitchell, South Dakota, Corn Palace Princess, and her thrill with biking at 11-12 miles per hour.
Dr. Dodson says ‘we can change the health of the nation through School Nutrition’, and it’s nuggets like these that leave the strongest impression in this episode, as they reveal her commitment to the assignment of Fueling Georgia’s Future and a clear confidence in the seminal role of school meals.
A Harvest of Inspiration with Holly Thaw
Former soccer player and clinical dietician Holly Thaw, RDN, LD, took the scenic route to her beloved home in School Nutrition. She now serves proudly as the Georgia School Nutrition Farm-to-School Specialist, who you’ll remember especially for the scrumptious Harvest-of-the-Month inspired recipes in our Harvest with Holly series. Holly talks to us from a whole new view, sharing on the heart and drive of school nutrition professionals and the innovation she’s overjoyed to witness in our programs, as she brings her own passion to building farm-to-school capacity across GA!
Connecting to Culinary with Chefs Mike and John
Come with us as we talk with Chef Michael Dubose and Chef John Huff, who serve the Georgia School Nutrition Program as dedicated Culinary Specialists. Mike and John work every day to raise the level of expertise in school cafeterias through thought and skills exchange, and are both passionate about Fueling Georgia’s Future. These gentlemen come from diverse backgrounds, spanning military and non-profit life, but their experiences converge when they engage across bodies of School Nutrition Professionals. You'll hear a heart for service as they both share their readiness-eagerness-openness to support our teams in the field!
Food Safety & School Nutrition with Dr. Ellen Steinberg
Meet Dr. Ellen Steinberg, Food Safety Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program! She is a Registered Dietician with a PhD in Foods and Nutrition and a mountain biker who works with School Districts across Georgia, furthering her passion to keep school meals safe and healthy for students, but she didn't start there. Listen as Dr. Steinberg talks us through her days at school in the sixties, her work with the USDA as 'Thermy' the Thermometer, her pride to serve alongside the hardest working School Nutrition Professionals and so much more. You'll also hear her boast a little about the high standards in food safety evident in Georgia's school cafeterias.
A fun and informative conversation with useful nuggets on food safety right through!
Profiling Monika Griner - Area Consultant at GaDOE SNP
From the school media center to the classroom, and then the cafeteria, Monika Griner, Georgia School Nutrition Program Area Consultant, took an unlikely path to her career as a School Nutrition Professional and we dare say enthusiast. In this episode, we'll profile Monika, learning how this South Georgia native came to see the business of providing quality meals for Georgia students as her calling.
A 'New & Different' way to communicate, the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program presents FuelCast! In our series pilot we introduce the FuelCast podcast, establish its purpose, and set the stage for the range of topics, personalities and issues to be addressed in nuanced, relatable discussions, led by our host, Rolandria Boyce and Georgia School Nutrition Strategic Marketing, Communications and Training Manager, Kelli Cook.