Esma Sefic – Nutrition Employee of the Month
For the past year and a half Esma Sefic has worked in Waukee Community School District’s Nutrition Department helping to provide quality healthy meals to students. Currently, she is Head Cook at Waukee High School where she has been creating edible food art to help encourage students to try more fruits and vegetables.
After careful considerations and judging by the Nutrition Department Administration, Sefic was named the first recipient of the Nutrition Food and Services Employee of the Month Award. Sefic was nominated by her coworkers because of her dedication to students, staff and her work.
“Esma’s work and time is an example of the standards we have set. She uses what we have on hand to create and show the food in a fun way that looks attractive,” Billie Veach Nutrition Supervisor at Waukee High School said.
This is a new program for the Nutrition Department and any nutrition staff member in the district is eligible. Staff are able to nominate one nutrition staff member per school building in the district for the award. Recipients of the award receive their name on a plaque that is posted in the serving area of the kitchen, an embroidered “W” for their uniform to identify them as an employee of the month recipient, a free Waukee spirit jean day for herself and one for the entire kitchen staff and are put in the running for the Nutrition Food and Services Employee of the Year Award.
“We are working on improving the quality of service offered by our staff and see this as a way to reward our employees for their efforts. So far the program is off to a great start,” Shawn Chapman, Operations Manager for the Nutrition Department.
At home, Sefic enjoys preparing homemade traditional Bosnian meals for her three children ages 16, 13 and four. Food decorating started as a hobby that she has been thrilled to be able to share with students.
“I wanted to create something different and nicer for the students,” Sefic said. “It only takes me a couple of minutes to create something that goes a long ways in presentation.”
Sefic uses a canvas of food to explore her creativity and try different styles. Since the start of the school year she has been collecting inspirations from magazines and local catering business to improve the presentation of fruits and vegetables at high school lunches.
The extra work and attention detail seems to be paying off. Since she started, students have become more interested in the fruits and vegetables and more likely to try something new.