GCMS cafeteria manager Jackie Snelling wins top statewide award: ‘Kentucky School Leadership Breakfast Champion’

Graves County Middle School cafeteria manager Jackie Snelling is the “2020 Kentucky School Leadership Breakfast Champion,” as awarded by the Dairy Alliance, along with a $1,000 check. Representatives of that organization and others visited the school recently for the award presentation. 

“We’ve been recognizing School Breakfast Champions,” said Alan Curtsinger of the Dairy Alliance, “culminating the event during National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6). We’ve had 36 nominees across Kentucky. We’re here today to recognize Jackie Snelling as the State Leadership Breakfast Champion for all of Kentucky.”

Curtsinger added, “You can tell by the way Jackie and her staff do things, that it’s not just about putting food out. It’s also about making connections with students. When participation goes from less than 100 students in a day to sometimes 500, that’s something to celebrate. That’s what’s happened here at Graves County Middle School.”

“I know Jackie from working with the school and we’re proud she won,” said Jesse Frye of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. He serves as the National School Lunch Program commodities regional coordinator for more than 25 of Kentucky’s westernmost counties. “Some of the smoothies she makes have commodities products in them that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture provides.” 

“I went to breakfast at the middle school this morning. The smoothies were outstanding and the kids were all happy,” said Lezanne Smock of the Kentucky Department of Education. “We came out today to celebrate with Jackie, her staff, and all of Graves County.”

“I am the Kentucky ‘Kids Eat’ AmeriCorps vista for Feeding Kentucky,” said Ann Hagen. “We partnered with the Dairy Alliance to celebrate the Breakfast Champions. We’re especially excited to celebrate Jackie. She’s a very sweet woman, who goes above and beyond to feed the kids.”  

“Jackie and her staff do a wonderful job with breakfast in the classroom,” said Graves County Schools’ nutrition director Shelina McClain. “She has increased participation here, along with the administration. Principal (Jonathan) Miller does a wonderful job of supporting and encouraging students to participate in the meal programs. We’re very excited by the increase in the number of kids we feed so that they’re successful in the classroom.” 

“Miss Jackie does a great job here at Graves County Middle School,” said Miller. “She works well with all the teachers, the staff, and me to meet kids’ needs. She’s very thorough in ensuring that all kids who order the breakfast get it. She also does a good job of keeping a variety of foods for kids, so that they eat and don’t get tired of having the same old thing.” 
“I am very shocked and humbled by all this; I appreciate it very much,” said Snelling. “I love children and know there are a lot of hungry kids and that we need to feed them. My goal is to feed everybody. I am very thankful. I appreciate this honor and everybody involved in it very much.”

(photo caption)
Graves County Middle School cafeteria manager Jackie Snelling recently won the title of “2020 Kentucky School Leadership Breakfast Champion,” receiving a $1,000 check from the Dairy Alliance. Dignitaries honored her for the greatest increase statewide in the number of students served breakfast. Pictured, from left, are Alan Curtsinger of the Dairy Alliance, cafeteria workers Kim Freeze and Janet Edwards, Jesse Frye of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Snelling, cafeteria worker Kodie Fikter, Lezanne Smock of the Kentucky Department of Education, cafeteria workers Misty Warren and Kaelynn O’Neill, district nutrition director Shelina McClain, principal Jonathan Miller and assistant principal Lindsey Wilkerson. 
(photo by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)

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