Erin Thacker, R.D.

Erin Thacker's respect for district administrators has made her a success at Chesapeake Public Schools.

Why Selected?

According to Joanne Kinsey, director of school nutrition services, Erin has made an impact on foodservice by:

•Garnering the respect of administrators in the district. Erin serves on a number of committees
•Securing additional funds to support the program. She has applied for and received $226,000 in grants
•Being the prime contact for special dietary meal requirements. She has developed documentation and works closely with the nurses at each school to help these students participate in our program
 

Details

Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, VA
Age: 26
Education: B.S. in human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech
Years at organization: 3

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Planning the menus and implementing an itemized point-of-sale system to meet the new K-12 USDA meal pattern certification requirements.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I am able to learn new computer software concepts quickly and can be instrumental in training others.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Don’t worry when things don’t go exactly as planned. Move forward and determine what you can do for the best possible outcome. 

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Managing the increasing number of food allergies and other special dietary requests in the school district.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I was honored when two seniors on our high school food and nutrition council asked me to write letters of recommendation on their behalf. I know how important recommendation letters are when applying to college.
 

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

Our district was just awarded a USDA Farm-to-School Planning Grant. I want to use this opportunity to develop a comprehensive farm-to-school plan and apply for an implementation grant next year. My goal is to increase the amount of local foods available on our menus.
 

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

We ran out of clementines for our fruit and vegetable program. I ended up going into the nearest grocery store and purchasing all of the clementines it had in the produce department. I know I looked ridiculous checking out with a cart full of clementines.
 

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

I dressed up in a tiger mascot costume during Healthy Virginians Week to deliver fresh orange slices to each classroom in an elementary school. The costume was old, hot and way too big! Looking back at pictures I laugh and know it was worth it because the students had a great time.
 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources