2010-2011 School-Related Employee of the Year

Kathleen Damiano, Food Service Manager at Timberlin Creek Elementary School (TCES), has been named St. Johns County’s 2010-2011 School-Related Employee of the Year. Her selection was announced by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner at a reception held Tuesday evening at First Coast Technical College.
Ms. Damiano was selected from among 37 nominees for her exemplary job performance, dedication, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, training to upgrade skills and contributions to the school and district environment.
Ms. Damiano has been involved in food service and catering for 25 years. As the Food Service Manager at TCES for the past 10 years, she has been a pioneer in presenting attractive and appealing school breakfasts and lunches. She has also created and maintained one of the highest performing and highest profit-making school food programs in the district and takes pride in both her staff and her cafeteria.
In addition to her everyday responsibilities, Ms. Damiano educates students and their parents about the importance of healthy eating through the use of games about food and nutrition. This year she started a school garden by planting seeds and involved students in the process.  She also volunteers beyond her work day by helping promote PTO family events and making the cafeteria available as needed.
According to Principal Cathy Hutchins, this year’s winner has “an endless spirit of giving” and is respected and admired by her staff, co-workers and the community. She helps train other staff members and looks for opportunities to share her knowledge and expertise. She is a leader and a true professional but is always willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done.
The Nominating Committee said it best, “Our nominee is a dedicated hard worker with a strong work ethic who has a passion for instilling healthy eating habits for the well being of others. She provides a positive eating experience in our school cafeteria and works with local farmers to incorporate fresh produce in our school’s lunch program.  Ms. Damiano is a true professional who always serves others.”
Ms. Damianos’s name has been forwarded to the state where she will compete at the regional level.