INDIAN HEAD, Md. – Earlier this school year, Henry E. Lackey High School food and nutrition worker Beverley Jenkins was recognized by the Maryland School Nutrition Association as its Employee of the Year. To Jenkins, her job is easy because she gets to support kids. “I just show up to work each day and make sure the kids are fed,” she said.
News of Jenkins’ commitment to children, her colleagues and the Lackey community spread and caught the attention of representatives from the national School Nutrition Association (SNA). Jenkins was recently nominated for national recognition and was selected as the School Nutrition Association 2018 Mideast Employee of the Year.
Jenkins said she first learned of her national award news when the president of the SNA called her. “I did not know I was even being considered. I was speechless. I had to ask her to repeat herself several times. I am so surprised at the magnitude of it all,” Jenkins said.
Lackey senior Kiana Wade said she is not surprised that Jenkins was recognized for what she does. “She carries a good head on her shoulders and is respectful to everyone. She is nice to all of the students and loves her job. I am not surprised at all that she received an award,” Wade said.
Jenkins is well known among her colleagues and the school community for putting the health and well-being of children first. She has worked at Lackey for the past 20 years and was instrumental in the launch of the school’s second-chance breakfast program in 2011. Through this program, students can stop at a kiosk after their first period class to buy a meal, which they can eat during the start of second block. Since the program began, the number of students eating breakfast at Lackey has tripled.
Jenkins is kind, welcoming and genuine in her interactions with students. Her commitment to her job is clear in that she takes pride in what she does. She participates in school spirit activities, supports students at athletics events and goes out of her way to make sure students are fed. Moreover, she does all this with a smile.
Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill said Jenkins is a role model for her colleagues. “Beverley exemplifies the motto of Charles County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services Office. We feed the future and are very proud of the work she does each and every day at Lackey. She has built positive relationships with students and her coworkers. She is a model for others to follow. We are all very proud of the work she has done and happy that her work has been recognized at the national level,” Hill said.
Crystal Richardson is a supervisor of food and nutrition services for the school system. She refers to Jenkins as a true asset to children in Charles County. “Beverley is an exceptional employee and true asset to Charles County Public Schools. Her dedication to her job is only surpassed by her commitment to the students at Lackey,” Richardson said.
The SNA Mideast region includes employees from Maryland, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C. As the Mideast Employee of the Year, Jenkins will be honored in July at the SNA Annual National Conference in Las Vegas.
Jenkins said she was excited about the honor, but still humbled to be honored for doing something she simply loves. “I just enjoy the kids. They are teenagers but they are kids, just trying to find their way in life. I like to teach them to focus on their needs. They just need our support. They are our future,” Jenkins said.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.