Paula Mense

Sand Creek Elementary                         Kitchen Manager

As many of you know, we have seen a huge rise in in the number of students with food allergies whom we are serving. In fact, 53 kitchen managers and their staff are currently providing at least one modified meal at their school. While I know you all take the upmost precautions when handling foods for these students, occasionally things happen that are out of our control and can cause some scary situations. Recently one of these situations occurred at Sand Creek Elementary. A student with a food allergy (not known to us) ate something new from the cafeteria and had an allergic reaction that sent them off in an ambulance. The student ended up being okay, but can you imagine if that happened at your school with one of your students who you fed? I am not writing this to freak anyone out. Rather, I wanted to recognize the Extra Special Person who handled this situation with great care and thoroughness, Paula Mense. Paula did everything right in this circumstance to make sure the child, parent, principal and school nurse had what they needed to determine what could have caused this reaction. She stayed calm, provided food labels for everything the child ate, and contacted me and her area manager to apprise us of the situation.

Paula has been with Nutrition Services for eight years; four years as manager at Sand Creek Elementary. Paula takes great pride in her job and what she serves her students. She is very observant and is great at planning ahead, often providing valuable feedback to the menu team. Paula has really made Sand Creek her home and truly cares about her students. Thank you Paula for your dedication to Nutrition Services and the students at Sand Creek!

Written by:

Amy Faricy

DCSD Nutrition Services Manager of Menu Services


Luann Dunbar

Douglas County High School Kitchen Manager

Meet Luann Dunbar,

Luann is the Kitchen Manager at Douglas County High School (DCHS). She has been with Nutrition Services for over 16 years and has worked in the same kitchen. It is always a delight to walk into DCHS kitchen. Luann and her team are always positive, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. This school year, Luann is off to a great start at DCHS. She broke, for the third time this school year, her all time highest Subways sales record! The third time, they were up almost twenty percent in sales! If you didn’t know, Luann manages two kitchens. The north building has the action station and main Subway, and the south building has a lot more grab and go items. With the increase in sales, she has been able to add an additional employee and purchase new equipment. Luann and her team have worked hard to increase their sales and participation. Their hard work has truly paying off! Fantastic job! Their dedication, great attitude, and flexibility are truly appreciated! Thank you DCHS team!!!

Written by Lisa Sronce


Shu-Fang Duong

Kitchen Assistant At Large

Shu-Fang Duong comes to mind immediately when I think of an Extra Special Person. I have been so fortunate in working with Shu over many years. Shu and I worked together at TRHS around 2007ish! She became our "Snack Bar" expert, where she not only managed all sales, but did her own inventory and ordering needs. We had lots of fun during that time, and working together was a pleasure! Since then, Shu has worked at other sites, moving from the Kitchen Assistant level to At-Large Kitchen Assistant. She is one of the most flexible individuals I have ever worked with. She views everything in a positive manner. As an At-Large, you must be able to change schools regularly, and move into different environments quickly. Every time Shu works at a school, I get compliments about her. This year she has been the temporary kitchen manager at Lone Tree Elementary. I have had calls and emails from the LTE Staff/Administration, telling me how wonderful the kitchen staff is. (Kudos to Shu, along with Cindy Yoshida and Kerry Willbury! A truly awesome team!) I'd like to thank Shu for the work she does, and even more, for the person she is!

Written by Joy Timlin (Area Manager)


Kerry Livingston

Saddle Ranch Elementary        Kitchen Manager

I am fortunate to have worked with Kerry Livingston when she was first hired in Nutrition Services. Kerry was hired as a kitchen assistant at Stone Mountain Elementary. At the time, this was one of my schools and the Kitchen Manager went out with a broken foot. Knowing that Kerry had a background in foodservice, I had approached her to learn enough to cover the kitchen while the manager was out. Well, Kerry did more than that. She learned opening and closing the day, ordering and production. She soon could cover the kitchen so that I had time to visit my other schools. It was not a shock to me to see that she became a manager the following year.

Two and half years later, I get the chance to work with Kerry again! Kerry approaches her kitchen with calm and confidence. She has a great team working with her and her leadership is evident in her kitchen. Kerry’s school was chosen to pilot the online ordering lunch program, ClickEatGo! While this could be a bit overwhelming to try out a new program, Kerry pulled her sleeves up and dug in to learn the new program and deliver on all expectations for both Nutrition Services and our parents. Kerry is an asset to our program and I am very proud to work with her and make this year great!

Written by: Dawn Kidd, Area Manager