Wilson County Schools has named Tina Hutchens as the school nutrition director.
She will take over for longtime WCS employee, Melody Turner, according to a district news release.
Hutchens has been working with Turner to learn the day-to-day operations of the Food and Nutrition Department.
“Melody has just been tremendous,” said Hutchens. “She has helped create an environment that is of the highest standards when it comes to food and nutrition within our schools. The details of everything she has put into this position is just inspiring. It’s my goal is to take all that she has done and make it a seamless transition for everyone when I take over in January.”
Hutchens has over 20 years of food and nutrition service experience, with much of that service time coming in Rutherford County. A native of Christiana, Hutchens says that food and nutrition experience in schools is something that runs very deep in her family.
“Multiple family members worked in food service and nutrition roles when I was growing up, mostly in cafeteria management, so this line of work just really sparked my interest at a very young age.”
That rooted interest eventually led Hutchens to Middle Tennessee State University where she earned a degree in dietetics and food science.
Following this year’s tornado, then the ongoing pandemic, WCS has implemented new ways students can receive food service.
“I have taken the blueprint from Melody and others in our department and have seen the effectiveness of what they were able to do in times of crisis,” she said. “They have provided a solid foundation to build off of in the future for whatever comes our way. We’ll be ready to feed, no matter what.”
For Hutchens, it’s her love for students that keeps her motivated, as she tries to help them be successful through sound nutrition.
“It’s much more than just feeding students, it’s about providing a good support system. While I’ll do everything I can to make sure they receive nutritious meals, there’s a nourishing aspect that comes with that too,” she said. “There’s nothing better than seeing smiling faces come through a lunch line. It’s at that moment when you know deep down that you’re helping to make an impact on a child’s life.”
Hutchens will take over her new role in January.
Submitted to the Democrat