Congratulations to Cheryl Dixon for winning a national award of excellence for her work as the food service manager at Kittery’s Horace Mitchell Primary School! In addition to teaching good nutrition and promoting healthy eating habits, Dixon’s award-winning program includes a Farm to School initiative to provide schools with farm fresh foods, and a third component on composting and recycling. As reported by SeacoastOnline.com:
Kittery school has nation’s best: Food manager takes top award for initiatives at Horace Mitchell
First it was state recognition. Then it was regional acclaim. Now it is national notoriety.
Cheryl Dixon, food service manager at Horace Mitchell Primary School, has had quite the summer.
Having already received the Maine School Food Service Association’s Louise Sublette Award of Excellence for 2010, Dixon was then selected as the regional winner from the six New England states and New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The accolades then cast her into the national spotlight, and Dixon hasn’t looked back.
On July 11, before thousands packed in the Dallas Conference Center in Texas, Dixon received the National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence. She was chosen out of six regional winners.
Dixon was honored for her work teaching good nutrition and promoting lifelong healthy eating habits among the students at Mitchell School.
Her award-winning program combined the elements of two existing nutrition education programs in her school: the 5-2-1-0 Program, which teaches students to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, watch less TV, exercise more and eliminate sugary beverages; and the Farm to School Initiative, which provides schools with farm fresh foods.
Dixon also added a third component to the program to teach students about composting and recycling.
“I don’t think my feet have hit the ground,” Dixon told the Herald during a recent interview. “This honor is not just for me, but it’s for my school and Maine…”
She said perhaps the most rewarding experience aside from the award was realizing that students actually learned something from her project.
Having never been taught the importance of nutrition and healthy living when she was in school in the 1970s, Dixon said the role she plays in the schools these days is just as vital as that of educators.
“The award is wonderful and it’s totally awesome, but I’m really hoping that somehow, someday, I made a difference for these kids.”