Shanta Nanan, cafeteria manager IV at John F. Kennedy High School, was named the Montgomery County School Nutrition Association Employee of the Year. This award recognizes an individual food services employee whose extraordinary job performance ensures that nutritious, quality meals are available to students.
Nanan started her MCPS career as a temporary part time substitute. She has always had a can do attitude and been a strong supporter of the food services programs for more than 28 years. During difficult situations, staff shortages, emergencies, lack of electricity or gas and food production shortages, Nanan has found a way to feed the students with a positive attitude. During the COVID shutdown, she always kept a smile on her face, making sure all her students and members of the community had nutritious meals to eat even when they were not in the school building. She empowers her coworkers and treats everyone with respect.
Nominations were accepted from school administrators and faculty, cafeteria managers, satellite managers, supervisors, PTA and other members of the school community.
Other nominees were:
- Magdalena Carmona, cafeteria worker I, Fields Road Elementary School
- Devika Weerasinghe, cafeteria worker I, Cabin John Middle School
- Quan Tran, cafeteria worker I, Cabin John Middle School
- Nasima Ahmed, cafeteria worker I, Cabin John Middle School
- Chouchan Aghguiguian, cafeteria worker I, Takoma Park Middle School
- Christine Samaroo, cafeteria manager IV, Sligo Middle School
- Melinda Christian, cafeteria manager II, Damascus High School
- Min Yang, cafeteria worker I, Ridgeview Middle School
- Hsinhua Yu, cafeteria worker I, Hallie Wells Middle School
- Shu-Chih Liu, cafeteria worker I, Shady Grove Middle School
- Brenda Price, food services satellite manager III, Glenallan Elementary School
- Hongying Wang, food services satellite manager III, Watkins Mill Elementary School
- Kate Okandeji, food services satellite manager I, Stephen Knolls School (Retired June 2022)
- Shaocong Huang, former cafeteria manager IV, Hallie Wells Middle School
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
On Oct. 11, MCPS staff and students celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at Carver Educational Services Center. The festivities included food from Hispanic countries, cultural education, student dance performances and fellowship. Watch a video from the event.
Stephen Knolls Students Enjoy Outdoor Ed
Earlier this month, students at Stephen Knolls School got the chance to enjoy Outdoor Education with the help of teacher Antonio Carrillo. They encountered wildlife, participated in mock canoeing, had fun on a hayride and saw the stars in the planetarium.
Three Schools on America’s Healthiest List
Three MCPS schools received the America’s Healthiest Schools Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, demonstrating their efforts to prioritize the essential health needs of students, staff and families.
The schools —Burtonsville Elementary School, and Thomas W. Pyle and Redland middle schools—met or exceeded best practice standards in one or more areas related to the physical, mental and social-emotional health of students, teachers, and school staff. More details about each school below:
Burtonsville was recognized in the areas of Family & Community Engagement; Nutrition & Food Access; Local Wellness Policy; Health Education; Social-Emotional Health and Staff Well-Being. Among Burtonsville’s accomplishments:
- Set up a carpool service to keep staff and students safe in the car loop area in response to safety concerns.
- Set up food markets to distribute food boxes to families.
- Sent out weekly newsletter with information about surveys (including an antiracist audit surveys), disability awareness week, COVID testing and other topics.
- Engaged with PTA to establish a school garden and host a beautification day, with families planting perennials and preparing the garden beds.
- Set up breakfast bins for students to grab-and-go free meals on their way to class.
- Organized scheduled walks for staff two days a week.
- Held mindful moments once a week during morning announcements, and set up mindfulness corners in multiple classrooms.
- Established a mentorship program, where adults in the building volunteer their time to work with student mentees, focusing on addressing behavioral.
- Organized gratitude activities to recognize staff.
Pyle was awarded for Family & Community Engagement. Pyle established a counseling advisory committee, which brought in speakers for parent presentations on topics, including teen anxiety, school refusal and supporting LGBTQ+ youth. These sessions were recorded and shared electronically for families who could not attend. Pyle also developed and distributed a parent engagement survey on family/community engagement practices.
Redland was awarded for Family & Community Engagement. Redland shared community resources with parents/caregivers related to food assistance/food access and other social health topics; surveyed parents/caregivers on improving students’ experiences at the school, and organized a food pantry for students and families.