VBSD highlights Child Nutrition Director Tessa Clemmons during National School Breakfast WeekFriday, March 10, 2023 5:38 pm
As we close out National School Breakfast Week, we want to give a shoutout to our VBSD Child Nutrition Director, Tessa Clemmons. Clemmons has a diverse culinary background that includes a degree from the now Le Cordon Bleu College of the Arts in Austin, Texas, as well as extensive work in restaurants and hospital nutrition. While working in the hospital setting, she discovered her passion for institutional food service. “It felt really good to be feeding and nourishing people who really needed the comfort that food can bring," said Clemmons. After serving as Executive Chef at Northwest Medical Center, Clemmons returned to the River Valley in 2016 as VBSD’s Assistant Director of Child Nutrition. She assumed the directorship at the beginning of this school year.
Clemmons understands the important role that her department plays in the lives of VBSD students.
“We see these kids at two of their three meals each day,” she noted. “Seeing them there and during catering events, at the food truck, and most especially at our holiday meals is my favorite part of my job. Every time we serve a dessert or a themed meal, the students are so happy and excited and that just warms my heart.”
Clemmons’ commitment to teach children about food and where it comes from prompted her to introduce the “Harvest of the Month” program. “Each month we feature a food that is seasonally grown in Arkansas and incorporate it into a few different dishes and executions, so the kids can experience how versatile fruits and vegetables really are,” she explained.
VBSD is currently constructing an Aquaponics center which will allow the department to produce its own lettuce and other vegetables. The project will also provide opportunities to educate students about food grown in the District and help VBSD in managing its working relationships with local farmers.
Clemmons is very excited about the District’s expanding nutritional programs and the impact they are having on students. “I absolutely love working for VBSD in child nutrition. We have an amazing community and providing fun and engaging meals for our kids is what means the most to me in my day-to-day role. As a chef and a mother, it thrills me to see kids getting excited and learning more about their food and about the different fruits, veggies and other foods available to them.”
Thanks to Tessa Clemmons and all of VBSD’s awesome Child Nutrition team members for making National School Breakfast Week and everyday fun and tasty for our students!