Brenda Watford and staff earn more awards

Child nutrition program among the best
Nov. 27, 2012 @ 06:35 PM

Thomasville City Schools honored its child nutrition staff at November's monthly board of education meeting.
TCS Superintendent Keith Tobin presented nutrition director Brenda Watford and several members of her staff with a bevy of awards Nov. 13, ranging from providing the best customer to appearing in Hollywood.
Annually recognized as having one of North Carolina's top child nutrition departments, TCS came home from an Oct. 25 award ceremony in Raleigh with honors in promoting a healthy diet, providing nutritious foods and meeting strict federal and state guidelines. 
"We're doing tremendous things and are well-represented in the state," Tobin said. "People just think the world of Brenda and what our child nutrition folks are doing. They're at a very high standard."
Thomasville Middle and Liberty Drive Elementary were two of only 20 schools in the state to receive gold awards in the HealthierUS School Challenge, a USDA program promoting nutrition and physical activity. Out of 101,000 participating schools across the country, 4,411 received gold awards from the USDA. Thomasville High School and Thomasville Primary School took home silver awards in the HealthierUS School Challenge, an initiative that requires child nutrition staffs to submit applications documenting nutritional guidelines, menus and physical education. 
TCS also had two of its schools earn USDA Best Practice awards, joining an even smaller fraternity. The USDA recognized only 24 schools in the country for best practice in customer service. Becky Moore with TMS received an award for her "Junk Food Junkie" initiative aimed at teaching students the difference between healthy and unhealthy snacks. Janet Willingam received the customer service award for going the extra mile to ensure students are provided with healthy meals every day.
"We're always recognized but who we do this for is the children of Thomasville City Schools," said Watford. "It's not for us to get the recognition. We want to be the best for them."
Watford also was honored with the USDA's "Seamless Summer Option" national media award for her appearance at this year's Gracie awards in Hollywood. Watford was a special guest of CBS after the network won a Gracie Award for a piece documenting TCS' summer feeding program. The initiative feeds more than 1,400 children every summer.
"They really care and that's why they make a difference in what they're doing," Tobin said. "They always want to do what's best for the children."

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or