Hunger Task Force Celebrates 2024 Wisconsin School Breakfast Champions

This year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin, Hunger Task Force, and No Kid Hungry Wisconsin are thrilled to recognize nine Breakfast Champions across the Badger state! Throughout our nomination period, we received over 40 submissions, and it’s clear that there are so many incredible individuals who are taking action each and every day to improve access to school breakfast in their communities.  As we dive into National School Breakfast Week (March 4-8), we want to recognize ALL of the individuals that go above and beyond to ensure that students start their day equipped with all of the tools they need to learn.

We invite you to learn more about our 2024 Champions and why their nominators wanted to recognize them below.

DIANE VANDERGALIEN | Marshfield School District

Diane is the breakfast prep cook, cook, server, cashier, and clean-up crew at Marshfield High School. She manages it all each and every morning. Diane makes sure to serve items she knows students will love and is always willing to try new items. She comes in early a couple times a month to make homemade breakfast sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. Regardless of the quantity of meals she is serving, she always makes sure the quality is top notch and that the service is personalized.

JODY SCHWARZ | Brillion Public Schools  

Jody is an enthusiastic person and wants what is best for her students. She keeps breakfast interesting. Jody realized middle school students did not participate in the breakfast program when offered before school. She wanted the students to have a meal to begin their day so she spoke with the principal and asked if she could offer breakfast after the first hour for the middle school students. The participation rate increased 621% compared to the year prior!

JILL NORSHIP | Three Lakes School District

Jill implemented a second breakfast service for grades 7-12 starting in the 2022-2023 school year. This gives approximately 120 students in grades 7-12 an opportunity to eat at a later time than the beginning of school. Jill and her staff work to offer more scratch-made, hot breakfast items for students which are more nutritious than pre-packaged items. Jill also strives to create a very welcoming atmosphere to the cafeteria!

JOSH SPAETH | Cadott School District

Josh was able to research, apply and secure the free school breakfast program for his school district. Kids have the option to eat in the cafeteria or bring breakfast to class allowing for flexibility to increase participation! It was clear that as Superintendent, Josh prioritized ensuring all students at Cadott started the day with breakfast so they were ready to learn and succeed!

LINDA MOE | South Shore School District

Linda is often the first person at school each day and prepares warm, delicious meals for our students. She makes special little adjustments to make the kids feel special. Linda knows every student and helps start their day off on a positive note so their bellies and hearts are full for a great day!

CHAD SMITHYMAN | Herman-Neosho-Rubicon School District

Chad always serves breakfast with a smile and cheerful attitude. This is his first year as food service director at Herman-Neosho-Rubicon and he has made a huge impact on the students. They now come to school eager to try new foods, eat more of their breakfast, and they just have a better attitude to start their day with. Chad has prioritized increasing options and presentation of the meals and it has made a huge impact!

LIZBETH MATURIN-OSUNA | St. Anthony’s School (Milwaukee)

Lizbeth is a motivated food director, hard worker, and a great leader. She has improved student participation and menu variation at St. Anthony’s School. She brings in numerous grants and donors and organizes community events that benefit their meal programs. She has created partnerships with local businesses in the food industry, benefitting the school with additional funds and resources for the nutrition program. Lizbeth provides food options that are culturally familiar to the students, as well as a healthy start to the day. She takes pride in providing what is best for them every day.

JEANNETTE WUENSCH | La Crosse School District

Jeannette goes above and beyond in her role as the Nutrition Manager at Central High School. She has established genuine relationships with all of the high school students and staff. Jeannette is genuinely interested in student feedback and wants to provide them with options that they truly enjoy. Jeannette plans to retire at the end of this school year (deservingly so!) and she will be so missed by all of the school nutrition staff and the students & staff at Central High!

VICKY BOLLIG | Sparta Area School District

Vicky goes out of her way to make sure each child has access to breakfast and strives to make a welcoming environment for all of her students. She improves our breakfast program by having fun themes throughout the year for the kids to get involved in, with music, coloring contests, guessing games, dress up days, and picture opportunities. Vicky does whatever she can to make school meals a happy and inclusive experience for our kids.

Are you looking to celebrate National School Breakfast Week and recognize your own Breakfast Champions? Check out the link to our toolkit here.


Contact Ashley Roudebush, [email protected].