One of the easiest ways to help children perform better in class is to provide them with the proper nutrition necessary for the healthy growth of minds and bodies. Aldona Przybysz helps make that happen as a food services manager at Queensbury High School.
Przybysz, pictured at right, has worked in Queensbury Union Free School District for seven years and is employed through the district food services provider, Whitsons. She originally started working here because she had small children and the schedule was the right fit, but now, she can’t see herself anywhere else.
“Interacting with the students is the highlight of my day,” Przybysz said. “I enjoy helping out on the line because I get to talk with the kids and teachers.”
As a manager, Przybysz is responsible for supervising food service staff at the high school. She also handles cafeteria orders, staff scheduling, catering for special events and preparations for health inspections in coordination with Food Services Director Rich Hollander. Those tasks involve a lot of paperwork, but she assists with odd jobs around the cafeteria as well.
“If it’s time to peel potatoes, I go out and peel potatoes. If the cook needs help, I go help cook,” Przybysz said. “Every job is my job.”
Przybysz and her co-workers have a lot on their plates, figuratively and literally. For example, the high school cafeteria serves about 100 breakfasts and 500 lunches daily, five days a week. Food Services staff members are constantly working to accommodate students with food allergies, and each day, they are tasked with providing a diverse and enticing menu that also complies with the latest government nutrition standards.
“Kids are actually asking for vegetables now,” Przybysz said. “Before, kids would only eat corn, but now they’re taking spinach and carrots. It’s surprising.”
Przybysz says each day presents a new challenge, but the show must go on.
“Our job is to provide the healthiest, most nutritious meals to help the children learn and be able to concentrate when they’re in class,” Przybysz said. “We try our best to make lunch an enjoyable part of each student’s day.”