Nutrition Manager Anthony Dennis' greatest contributions to education is trying to bring awareness to eating healthy and being a positive role model for the young adults he influences. He takes pride in introducing the students to new menu items and allowing them to taste items they may not be exposed to at home. Coming from working in the state prison system to the school system has allowed him to grow as a person He has learned to listen better, be patient, and develop an attitude and a hear of service for his staff and the students. Mr. Dennis has joined the local, state, and national School Nutrition Associations so he can keep up with the new ideas and innovations that are taking place in school nutrition. Mr. Dennis started the Phoenix Pheeders, which is an extension of the FLBA Club at NHHS. Their function is to obtain feedback on different menu items by taking surveys on the what improvements could be made and provide samples of new menu items to increase participation in the nutrition program.
Mr. Dennis has attended the leadership conference in Cordele, GA to better himself and his staff. He learned some valuable training that staying positive will help him improve the nutrition program at New Hampstead. Additionally he has spoken at the local PTA health and Wellness Fair to increase awareness of healthy eating and exercise. Furthermore, he was a guest on the internal television show at NHHS called the Blazing Skillet where he demonstrated to the student audience how to make a healthy breakfast burrito as part of the National School Breakfast Week.
Mr. Dennis has strengthened public education by providing the resources to healthy eating and well-being by participating and implementing 2 state programs called Strong 4 Life and Shake It Up. These 2 programs provide valuable information on proper diet, nutrition, and physical fitness. Additionally, they provide plenty of materials that emphasize eating from the food groups and providing balance by giving students a choice of 3 of 5 food groups to choose from to provide a nutritious meal. The nutrition program also participates in GA 2020. This program contains a Try It Tuesday promotion which introduces students to foods grown right here in Georgia. The goal is to have 20% of the vegetables serve in the cafeteria to be provided by the state of Georgia by the year 2020. This helps the Georgia economy by providing a customer for Georgia farmers, delivery drivers, harvesters and the consumer. These programs lead to success for students by giving them the energy to perform in the classroom, athletics and life. Breakfast participation has increased to 3% since Mr. Dennis has become the Nutrition Manager at NHHS.
Outside New Hampstead, Mr. Dennis is committed to his community through volunteer work, civic and other group activities by working with the Khyla N. Dennis Memorial Foundation. He suffered a tragedy in October 2017 with the passing of his 13 year old daughter. It is in her honor this foundation was established. The committee members, along with Mr. Dennis set up a scholarship fund to give $500 to student athletes that desire to attend college. The organization is in the planning stages of organizing a track meet and setting up education classes and seminars to address teen suicide.
Additionally, Mr. Dennis works with 5th Quarter Athletics, South GA Kins and Coastal Crew Reberls. These are AAU athletic programs that train and prepare young men in the sports of football and basketball. Coach Dennis teaches proper fundamentals, teamwork, loyalty and character building to these young athletes.