The non-profit Georgia School Nutrition Association has awarded Marsha Carlson from Brantley County Middle School the state Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence in School Nutrition, considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. The award recognizes a manager who has demonstrated dedication and ingenuity by successfully implementing a project to improve his or her school meal program.
Marsha Carlson successfully launched a Grab N Go Breakfast program, positively impacting student participation and enhancing the overall school environment. After finding that most students were opting to skip breakfast upon arriving at school in order to socialize with friends in the gym before first period, Marsha revamped her breakfast program to better suit the needs of the school community. She transformed breakfast into a Grab N Go initiative, allowing students to choose hot and cold items in the hall on their way to homeroom, where they could eat a nutritious breakfast and visit with friends. Marsha was integral in garnering support from administrators, teachers, staff, students and parents, and in securing a $5,000 Universal School Breakfast Pilot grant. The success of the program has been overwhelming with participation increasing from 32% to 93% of students eating breakfast at school.
“This award spotlights the best in creative thinking and proactive effort by school nutrition managers to implement projects that directly benefit students,” said Valerie Bowers, M.Ed., SNS, President of the Georgia School Nutrition Association. “Marsha has shown tremendous dedication and passion in serving the Brantley County Middle School community, exemplifying excellence in school foodservice.
The annual award is in memory of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition in Tennessee and in the national School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, Sublette worked in many areas of foodservice—public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Sublette dedicated her career to honoring school nutrition professionals and ensuring those who work in school cafeterias have access to professional development opportunities, empowering them to help their school meal programs flourish.