Retirement is Next on the Menu for School Nutrition Supervisor Linda Becker
Linda Becker has spent the last half-century working in the education sector, but as of January 3rd she officially said good-bye with 48 and half years of service. For the last 26 years Becker has served as School Nutrition Supervisor for Sumner County Schools, a federally-aided program. In her job, Becker has created menus, purchased food and filed paperwork-all while adhering to the rigorous federal, state and local laws. She was also responsible for more than 260 full-time and part-time employees at 47 kitchen sites and was tasked with feeding potentially 29,000 students.
During her tenure with Sumner County Schools, Becker has celebrated several accomplishments. She has started and created multiple new kitchens, implemented new federal programs and worked diligently on purchase bids to buy the best quality of food for our students. “If I would’t eat it, I wouldn’t serve it to anyone else,” she said.
One of her biggest achievements she says is providing the nutritional information online along with school menus, so nurses can have vital information for students and teachers that require a special needs diet, making it easily accessible.
She has promoted professional growth and development among her staff, believing the more training an employee received, the better the program could be. She has helped numerous students progress in and out of the classroom, something she says she’ll miss greatly.
“Everything was for the students. I’ll miss them and my staff. They are all so wonderful and bright. I can’t say enough about how great they were.”
Becker began her career as a teacher in Knox County after graduating from UT-Martin where she met her husband, Ken Becker. The couple will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this June. They have two sons, Gallatin High School Principal, Dr. Ron Becker, and Bridgestone/Firestone engineer and Sumner County Commissioner Jerry Becker. Becker has taught Child Development, Family Relations and Foods and Nutrition at Hendersonville High School, Gallatin High School and Beech High School and worked in the Tennessee Department of Education School Nutrition program.
Even though Becker has officially retired, she has agreed to stay on part-time to help transition the new Supervisor of School Nutrition, Jennefer Smart.
“I’m a firm believer that you’re only bored, if you allow yourself to be bored and I’m certainly not one to sit.”
Becker also plans to spend her retirement volunteering at local charities and hopefully travel to Ireland and Hawaii. A family cruise is also in the works.
“I would like to thank all of the Directors of Schools and the principals for their support for school nutrition throughout the years. The program is only as strong as the support you receive. It has meant so much.”