Eagan High School kitchen staff pose for a photo.

Members of District 196’s Food and Nutrition Services Department were recently honored with two prestigious awards from the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA). Food and Nutrition Services Coordinator and current MNSA President Wendy Knight awarded Eagan High School’s kitchen staff with the “E” Team Award and named Kathryn Hanson the 2018 MSNA Employee of the Year.

The “E” Team Award honors 24 Food and Nutrition Services staff members at Eagan High School for their customer services, creativity in the kitchen, teamwork and willingness to “go the extra mile.” The 24 employees at Eagan High School are:

Jane Peterson, Helen Anderson, Joanne Barry, Lisa Caporelli, Anita Frydenlund, Sondra Gustafson, Mary Jo Haire, Kathryn Hanson, Elizabeth Hofmann, Hong Huynh, Kathy Kennebeck, Ina Law, Jane McEvers, Suzette Messner, Sheila Mora, Rukiyo Osman, Jeanene Penny, Pamela Peterson, Lisa Rademacher, Stephanie Taylor, Misgana Tesfai, Deanne Thebert, Kristin Wagner and Mary Beth Wehrman

Food service associate Kathryn Hanson holds a tray of food.Hanson, a food service associate at Dakota Hills Middle School and Eagan High School, was named the 2018 MNSA Employee of the Year “due to her helpful nature and patience with new hires, her organizational skills, dependability, efficiency, happy-to-help attitude, her connection with students and involvement in the department’s nutrition chapter within MNSA,” Knight said. She also recognized Hanson for her leadership skills and willingness to always help organize staff events.

Hanson is part of the biggest kitchen in District 196, coordinating seven lunch periods and serving 1,500 meals, all within 75 minutes. Knight said Hanson connects with students and makes them feel valued and important.

“She makes the cafeteria a welcoming and cheerful place for staff, visitors and students,” Knight added. “Known by students for her creative salads, she has a passion for putting together healthy choices from whatever fresh ingredients are available in the kitchen.

In July, Hanson will be honored during the awards ceremony at the 62nd Minnesota School Nutrition Association’s Annual State Conference at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

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