We asked the Silver Plate Class of 2013 a few questions to get an inside look at what makes them the operator all-stars they are today. Find out what they had to say about passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Julia Bauscher, Director, School & Community Nutrition Services, Jefferson County Public Schools
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Having lunch with students! In my world, you can turn a bad day around immediately by sitting down to lunch with a class of second graders. They are so honest and fun! I also enjoy working with the passionate people in my office and our schools. They are dedicated to continually improving our program and that inspires me.
Tell us about your biggest accomplishment.
Successfully opening and operating the district's central kitchen and warehouse is definitely on the list. The Nutrition Service Center has benefited our program in so many ways, helping us to ensure nutritional integrity and food safety, control food costs and venture into wonderful programs like farm-to-school. It is hard to select a single accomplishment. I am also proud of being elected vice president of the School Nutrition Association and having the opportunity to represent school foodservice on a national stage.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
Get involved in your professional association and build strong relationships inside and outside of your program. Membership and involvement in the School Nutrition Association has benefited my program and me personally. One of the great things about school foodservice is that there aren't any proprietary secrets! We share our successes (and our failures) to help others do a better job. If another district wants to get into farm-to-school or breakfast in the classroom - or any other program we've executed successfully - we'll share any resources we have to help them! And they would do the same for us.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?
Receiving the Silver Plate for K-12 means we're doing something right! This recognition is not just for me, but also for those that have inspired and supported me throughout my career, including my former director Cheryl Sturgeon, and the former and current team members in School and Community Nutrition Services. No one can accomplish great things alone - you create a great team and empower them to continuously move forward!