Lucinda Darby Hunger Hero

John Bernozzi

Andover Elementary School, Orange County Public Schools

When you think of the definition of "Dedicated" you will think of John Bernozzi. 

His supervisors have been front-row witnesses to his devotion and commitment to the students of Orange County Public Schools. He possesses a high level of dedication, integrity, and loyalty. Throughout the years he has been a great leader to his staff. He always celebrates them, from their birthdays and giving gifts and gift cards for Christmas and other holidays, to taking them to a nice restaurant at the end of every school year to thank them. He goes above and beyond to engage students so that he not only understands their needs and obtains his customer's voices but also ensures that he provides a warm, welcoming, and stimulating experience when they enter his cafeteria.

Prior to the pandemic John regularly scheduled focus groups, taste testings, and fun activities with his students to capture their feedback about their dining experience. He also partnered with the coaches to create commercials of them taste-testing new nutritious menu items to create a buzz and excitement. His students and faculty were so engaged and excited that this subsequently increased his sales and participation. He and his team regularly decorate their kitchen and cafeteria and dress up in costumes for special events and holidays.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he made sure that no child in need went without meals. One day he found out that a Parent was upset that they missed the curbside time and were unable to get their child the week’s meals from the Monday curbside distribution. On Tuesday John had them come to pick up their child's week of meals, even though he couldn’t claim them. He wanted to make sure that their child had food for the week.

Another time a Parent came after 5 pm unaware of the ending time and John was just leaving to go inside. Again, even though it was after the serving time and he would not be able to claim them, he asked the parent and child to come to the side door where he met them outside and gave them the curbside week’s meals. In both instances, the parents were undoubtedly appreciative and grateful for him going above the call of duty to serve their child. It is this dedication that propels him into a league of his own.

He is always very professional, courteous, superbly organized, and consistently thinks about ways to improve his performance. He is dedicated to providing stellar customer service to his school community and is a model member of the OCPS family. This is why he is a Tyson K-12 Hunger Hero!

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