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5 Surry County nutrition workers attend culinary conference

Five Surry County School Nutrition officials recently attended one of eight North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute regional workshops held during the summer.

The workshops were put on by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Office of School Nutrition, along with Chef Cyndie Story.

“The Institute is intended for school nutrition professionals who are currently managing and/or responsible for the supervision of site-level nutrition operations,” the state said of the organization. “The purpose is for participants to master fundamental culinary skills to enhance school meals and be empowered to teach-it-forward to their team members at the local level.”

Locally, Rebecca Combs, manager at Rockford Elementary School; Melissa Edmonds, manager at Shoals Elementary School; Malissa Huffman, manager at Copeland Elementary School; Billie Jo Marshall, assistant manager at East Surry High School; and Jennifer Tate, interim manager at Meadowview Middle School, all attended one of the training sessions held at Starmount Middle School in Boonville.

“The workshops prepare participants to serve as chef ambassadors in their districts and beyond. Selected attendees of the workshop will learn fundamental culinary techniques such as knife skills, food production strategies such as batch cooking for quality, quick-scratch cooking techniques, and merchandising tips for new K-12 chef-developed recipes specifically for North Carolina schools,” the state agency said. “Participants also learn effective teach-it-forward techniques so they can communicate new knowledge and skills with others in their districts.”

“We are so proud of our employees that attended this training,” said Sherri Parks, director of the Surry County Schools nutrition program. :We are thankful for their initiative and desire to learn new techniques and expand their knowledge and skills. We are excited to see how they implement what they have learned in their operations in Surry County Schools. Many of our school nutrition employees have participated in this unique, hands-on professional development since 2016.”

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