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Nutrition Services’ academy prepares department’s next group of leaders

2014 October 30
by HISD Communications

HISD Nutrition Services prides itself on a having a skilled and devoted workforce. And thanks to the department’s Team Lead Academy, high-performing employees are learning additional skills that will help them advance their careers within the district.

The Team Lead Academy (TLA), which started three years ago, provides professional development opportunities for Nutrition Services employees who want to pursue management careers in Nutrition Services. Since its inception, more than 100 graduates have taken classes to learn more about various food service and management skills.

“The Team Lead Academy is essential in growing and developing our leaders of tomorrow,” said Operations General Manager Mark Welch. “If you take care of your team, they will take care of you. The training and tools they gain through the program allow them to succeed in their new roles, gain confidence in themselves, and continue to grow as employees.”

Employees who apply and are accepted into the TLA program have at least eight weeks of classroom and kitchen training to learn technical and leadership skills. They then have an additional six to eight weeks of field training with current Nutrition Services Team Leads to learn how to manage a campus cafeteria.

Throughout the TLA program, trainees learn about the National School Lunch Program, human resources, food safety and sanitation, managing inventory, and other operational skills.

Once the trainees pass an exam and receive a positive evaluation from their Team Lead trainer, the new graduates fill in for other Nutrition Services Team Leads when needed and can apply for new openings when they become available.

For more information about the Team Lead Academy, please contact Nutrition Services Director of Human Resources Antonia Sandoval at

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