June Jordan School for Equity dining manager receives award

Suzie Blandon, Dining Manager at June Jordan School for Equity
 Suzie Blandon, Dining Manager at June Jordan School for Equity, was recently honored for her commitment to students and her school community.

Many might associate a hero with superpowers like flying, superhuman strength or X-ray vision. When it comes to Suzie Blandon, Dining Manager at June Jordan School for Equity, her impact on students is a force to be reckoned with.

In May, Suzie won the 2019 I Love My School Lunch Hero Video Contest, which highlighted how she goes out of her way to ensure students in special education are comfortable. Every day, Suzie opens the cafeteria early for special education students so they can eat in a less hectic environment.

Suzie, who has worked for SFUSD serving students for over 20 years, was shocked to learn she won the contest.

“When the students told me I won, I cried,” she said. “I think I’m just a normal lady that helps them with their food. I didn’t think I meant that much to them. I feel very appreciated for what I do every day.”

The annual contest is sponsored by the Southern California School Nutrition Association, Food Safety Systems, and General Mills Foodservice with the purpose of recognizing food service employees in California schools.

"Ms. Suzie is a close friend of our special education program,” said Claire Davenport, a 9th grade teacher at June Jordan School for Equity. “She always takes extra care of our students and makes sure they have bag lunches for field trips. She knows what foods the kids like best, helps them make their choices, and helps them to the table. All the students love her very much.”

In addition to recognizing Suzie, Renata Cauchon and Noelia Oropeza of SFUSD’s Student Nutrition Services celebrated National School Lunch Hero Day on May 3 by dressing up as superheroes Soup R. Salad and Raspberry Riveter, and went out to surprise and recognize our dining staff.

Suzie shared, “I love my job and I love the kids. They’re like my babies. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have won.“

Check out the winning student-created video about Suzie and photos of SFUSD’s School Lunch Heroes below!

I Love My School Lunch Hero | Secondary Level Winner