Jessica Conner Dubbed School Lunch Hero
For the Bunnell Elementary School students who are treated to delicious and nutritious meals served up each school day by Jessica Conner, the revelation that she is a bona fide School Lunch (Super) Hero comes as no surprise.
Conner is one of only five school lunch food service workers from across the state designated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Food, Nutrition, and Wellness division for this year’s honor from hundreds of entries. She was bestowed the award from Florida Ag Department officials, along with Dairy Council of Florida and No Kid Hungry representatives during School Lunch Hero Week. The Thursday afternoon presentation included a gift basket from the Dairy Council, a superhero plaque with a stylish graphic of Jessica as a superhero, an etched glass trophy and a check for $2,000. Topping it off, Jessica was presented with a bright blue superhero cape.
BES Principal Marcus Sanfilippo and Assistant Principals Donelle Evensen and Cari McGee were on hand for the presentation, as were dozens of Pre-K – 1st grade students who loudly cheered on Jessica.
Additionally, Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt, Assistant Superintendent of Academics LaShakia Moore, Chief of Operational Services Dave Freeman, Food Services Director Angie Bush, and others were on hand for the event, which was held in school's large Cafeteria.
Distinctive not only her colorful hair but her warm and generous personality, Conner was nominated by 22 people. Officials at the Florida Ag Department were most impressed with the entry submitted by teacher Wendy Walters, who sang the praises of Conner, a relatively recent arrival at BES. (She began working at BES in September 2021.)
The Florida Ag Department’s Jeremy Eason and Kallie Parker said that this was the fifth and final stop for the Lunch Hero presentations for this year. The program began just a couple of years ago but the number of entries has doubled in the past year, Eason said. The department is responsible for administering the state’s school lunch program which provides millions of meals each school day for children throughout Florida.