Laura Duba, R.D.

Laura has made an impact on foodservice by being a director of one of the largest districts and the only R.D. in school foodservice in the state at the age of 23.

Why Selected?

(Note: Duba was an intern at Brandon Valley.) According to Gay Anderson, child nutrition director for Brandon Valley School District, Laura has made an impact on foodservice by:

  • Being a director of one of the largest districts and the only R.D. in school foodservice in the state at the age of 23
  • Planning her first new school while in her first year on the job. She makes solid decisions and has earned the respect of her business manager and superintendent
  • Making the necessary changes to increase her department’s participation and bottom line as she implements and leads her staff, despite age differences 

Details

Foodservice Director, Brookings School District, Brookings, SD
Age: 23
Education: B.S. in nutrition and food science from South Dakota State University
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming an R.D. and obtaining a career I can look forward to each day. 

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

I am eager to share up-to-date nutrition information with others. Having new ideas to pass on that students can relate to will help increase overall consumption of healthier choices.

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

My parents always told me, “Take one day at a time.” Having an open mind and positive attitude makes any day better.

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

As I continually work toward my goals for the program, I have to remind myself that everything will not happen in my first year. I’m excited for what I have planned but need to be patient.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Hearing any student say how much he/she enjoys the meal.

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

Increase participation in school breakfast and lunch programs and get into the classrooms to teach nutrition to students.

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

As a dietetic intern in school nutrition, I had microwaveable hand warmers for cold winter days. I turned on the microwave and walked to another part of the kitchen only to return to smoke rolling out of the microwave when I opened it. The microwave had a bit more power than what I was used to. I thought the fire alarms in the entire school were going to go off. I was extremely thankful for large kitchen exhaust hoods that day. The hand warmers are now history.

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

At the beginning of the school year I felt swamped with paperwork. Now that I have things figured out a bit more in terms of what needs to be done and when, it’s simple.

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