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Child Nutrition & Wellness Director Receives National Award

Sycamore Community Schools is proud to announce Jessica Johnson, Child Nutrition and Wellness Director, has been named the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Practice for the School Nutrition Services. This prestigious award is given by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to a nutrition services professional who has demonstrated innovation, creativity, and leadership in advancing the quality and integrity of school nutrition programs. Ms. Johnson was selected out of more than 1,200 DPG members across the country.

“Ms. Johnson continues to be a strong advocate for student health and wellness,” Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent, said. “She listens to students' ideas while balancing the need to offer choices that are high in nutritional value. This recognition is much deserved.”

Sycamore serves breakfast and lunch to more than 5,000 students daily in a self-sustaining program. Through Ms. Johnson’s efforts, the district has introduced daily healthy lunch options, including a deli bar, smoothies, and even sushi. The district also offers nutritious hot breakfasts and breakfast-on-the-go options to students each day. Ms. Johnson’s work in increasing breakfast participation by adopting alternative options has been recognized nationally, statewide, and locally. Under Ms. Johnson’s direction, Montgomery and Symmes Elementary Schools also received Clean Kitchen Awards from Hamilton County Public Health this year.

“Jessica’s willingness to try new ways to get students excited about eating healthy and trying new foods provides meals on a daily basis for more than half of her diverse student body. Her Sushi in Schools program has been a hit!” said Bobbie Guette, Chair of DPS.

Ms. Johnson will receive her award at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo held in Boston in October.