Superintendent Banning, Margaret Fochl, and Food Services Director Baird.

Superintendent Banning, Margaret Foehl, and Food Services Director Baird.

By Claud Mann

On Thursday, April 3, The Santa Barbara County Education Office honored a longtime Goleta Union nutrition services staff member as classified employee of the year in the child nutrition category.

Margaret Foehl has worked for the Goleta Union School District for more than 25 years – the past 23 years in the district’s central kitchen, assisting in the preparation of over 2,200 tasty and healthy lunches,  700 nutritious breakfasts, and 340 wholesome snacks each school day.

Margaret knows the district well, having attended Goleta schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. She was one of five exemplary employees who symbolize their profession’s contributions and commitment to education.

Her supervisor, Director Sharon Baird, said “Margaret is extremely dedicated and talented, and is a role model to all GUSD food service staff due to her excellent attendance, warm personality, strong work ethic, and her commitment to preparing and serving high-quality, healthy foods.”

“Margaret sets a great example for our GUSD Food Service Team.  She is dedicated, hardworking, kind, patient, devoted, has strong culinary skills and brings out the best in others.  She also is an exceptional baker using whole grains and fruits/vegetable to bake the most delicious muffins enjoyed by our students most Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Margaret makes the job of baking 800 muffins look easy as if she were in her home kitchen baking just two dozen muffins.  No matter the quantity, Margaret’s muffins are all made with the healthiest ingredients and lots of love!” – Food Services Director Sharon Baird

SBCEO Personnel Specialist Bonnie Casey said Ms. Foehl “is grace under pressure,” and praised her “kindness, tolerance, generosity, positive outlook, and calm nature,” which all contribute to “the lively and pleasant work environment” in the central kitchen.

District Superintendent William Banning praised Margaret’s dedication to excellence as well as her flexibility and leadership through 25 years of changes in food preparation. He also cited “her energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic, all for the children of our community.”

At the district level, criteria for the nomination process include work performance, school and community involvement, plus leadership and commitment. Three of the district nominees are subsequently forwarded to the SBCEO for consideration at the county level. Honorees from Thursday’s ceremony are considered for statewide recognition in Sacramento during Classified School Employee Week, May 19–23, 2014.

Margaret and her team at Goleta's Central Kitchen, with Orfalea Chef Instructor Naomi Serizawa.

Margaret and her team at Goleta’s Central Kitchen, with Orfalea Chef Instructor Naomi Serizawa.

Claud Mann is a Chef Instructor for the Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative.

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