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Knox County Schools Nutrition Recognized for Best Practices, Welcomes “Celebrity” Chef

The Knox County Schools Department of Nutrition was recently recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for exemplary work in customer service and meal participation.

The Department of Education’s Food and Nutrition Management presented a Tennessee Best Practice Award to the manager, Renee Bray, and staff of the Knox County Schools’ Hardin Valley Academy cafeteria. This award recognizes improved lunch meal participation at the school through excellent customer service.

A second Tennessee Best Practice Award was presented to the cafeteria manager, Linda Harr, and staff at Beaumont Magnet Academy for their work to increase breakfast participation at the school. This effort also was lauded by the USDA Southeast Regional Office with a Regional Best Practice Award.

“Our cafeteria managers oversee production and personnel in their busy school cafeterias and ensure nutritional guidelines are met, or often exceeded, for all students,” said Jon Dickl, Director of Nutrition for the Knox County Schools. “These professionals play a vital role in our effort to provide healthy, delicious meals to our students to help them be ready to learn in the classrooms, and we’re thrilled that some of our hard work has been recognized.”

A new manager has joined the Nutrition team: School Chef Cindy Tinnel is the new cafeteria manager at Christenberry Elementary School. “Foodies” might recognize Tinnel’s name as 2012 champion of the school nutrition professionals’ competition on the Food Network’s series, Chopped. Tinnel served as cafeteria manager at Henry Maxwell Elementary School in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools for more than 11 years and joins the Knox County Schools in July 2014.