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Estacada Cook Wins Regional Recognition

Estacada Cook Wins Regional Recognition
Posted on 05/05/2022
The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has named Lori Dyson, lead cook at Estacada High School in the Estacada School District, Oregon, the Northwest regional Employee of the Year. The award recognizes the valuable contribution of school nutrition employees, ones who exhibit a remarkable commitment to both their school meal program and the students they serve.

Lori Dyson has the ability to think outside the box and bring innovative recipes and systems to her kitchen. She gets excited to share ideas and is an instrumental member of the team, working with nutrition department staff to help with menu suggestions, production systems and marketing ideas.

Dyson’s leadership during the pandemic helped create a smooth transition from in-person
breakfast and lunch service to prepping over 800 bags of to-go meals daily, handed out via
bus routes in the community.

She brings levity to stressful situations with her daily food jokes and silly costumes on holidays. She is always ready with a smile for both students and staff and always steps up to lend a hand when needed.

“Lori Dyson is an active SNA member who enjoys sharing with co-workers what she learns
while attending conferences and classes,” said SNA President Beth Wallace, MBA, SNS.

Dyson has a passion for learning. She has completed several SNA courses and earned her Level 1 SNA certification. She does not let challenges in her personal life get in the way of her school nutrition career. While continuing her college education, she has been learning management techniques to properly handle staff difficulties in the kitchen. With the goal of moving to a management role, Dyson has been asked to train other employees to the
standard of her work ethics. She is happy to share what she learns in classes with her co-workers.

The Employee of the Year Award was created to recognize outstanding school nutrition
employees who influence the quality of school meals through customer service, an interest in young people, cooperation, work attendance, creativity, participation in professional development and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Dyson was announced as the Northwest regional Employee of the Year during a School Lunch Hero Day (SLHD) online awards ceremony on May 2. The accomplishments of Dyson and all of this year’s SNA award winners will also be recognized in a special publication and promoted in SNA's annual SLHD social media campaign on Facebook.com/TrayTalk and TrayTalk.org.