NEWMAN - A long-time nutrition services employee of the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District has been honored by the California School Employee Association (CSEA), which represents classified school staff members.
Pam Freitas was selected by CSEA Chapter 551, Newman-Crows Landing, to receive the association’s “Unsung Hero” award.
The honor was presented in recognition of her contributions to the school and her work in support of the local CSEA chapter and fellow classified employees.
“She is an extremely hard worker who is always there when needed,” said Jill Reeves, president of the local CSEA. “When I call on her for help, she is right there. She has consistently stepped up for our chapter.”
Freitas also volunteers her time for events outside the work day, such as volunteering to help with community booths and the trunk or treat event.
Freitas has worked for the district for 18 years. She actually started as a yard duty at Von Renner, but applied for a job opening in the kitchen and has been in nutritional services ever since.
She has worked at Von Renner, Hunt and Bonita schools before assuming her current role at Yolo Middle School about eight years ago, Freitas told Mattos Newspapers.
During a typical day, Freitas said, her 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. hours are packed with a variety of responsibilities.
“I start my day with breakfast, and then I go to the continuation school to serve breakfast and lunch,” Freitas explained. “Then I go back to Yolo and start prepping for lunch. I get my cart ready for lunch to feed the Yolo kids.”
Cleanup, followed by prepping foods for the following day, round out her workday.
Freitas said school lunch options include more fruit and vegetables - and more menu selections overall - than when she started with the district.
While students like to sample new items, she added, pizza remains perhaps the most popular dish and offerings such as nachos are widely popular as well.
Freitas, who is on the chapter’s negotiating team, said she enjoys her job at Yolo and pitching in to help however she can.
“We are all hard workers,” she said of the CSEA team. “I love working there. I love the staff, and I enjoy seeing the kids.”