Staff Spotlight on: Rachel Elzinga

Rachel juggling gif
  • What is your title?

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    Nutrition Services Wellness Specialist

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  • What do you do?

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    I make sure school meals are nutritious, tasty and appealing. I also work to promote wellness in our schools.

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  • What's your favorite part of the job?

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    I really love what I do and who I work with so it’s hard to pick just one aspect. I would say that visiting school kitchens is really fun and is one of my favorite things that I get to do right now.

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  • Why is your job important?

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    Undernourished children have a difficult time keeping focus, which is a recipe for disaster in a school environment. I know that many kids wouldn’t eat if they didn’t have school meals and that makes me feel good about what my department does and who we get to serve. I also believe that by ensuring meals are nutritious and tasty we are setting these kiddos up for future health success.

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  • What are you looking forward to this year?

    Posted by:

    Jumping into the wellness side of my job. So far I’ve just dipped my toes in by finding out what the district is already doing. I’m excited to pick some new projects and try to implement them in our schools. If anyone has any good ideas, I’d love to hear them.

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  • 20 Questions in 60 Seconds

    1. What was your favorite part of school? Silent sustained reading because A) I loved to read and B) it was nice to have a break from the noise of my classmates.
    2. Who was your favorite teacher and why? If I have to pick just one...Dr. Lindsey Biga at OSU. She taught Anatomy and Physiology and her class was never just a lecture with boring slides or a monotone voice. Her class was animated, interactive, hands on and used many different teaching and learning methods to accomplish the end goal. Her class made me realize that content isn’t the only important part of learning - teaching method and style are just as important.  
    3. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13? I think I’d tell myself to be accepting of who I was and to march to the beat of my own drummer.  
    4. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? Anything that has to do with being outside and anything that involves my husband/family. Combining the two is always a win.
    5. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Teddy Roosevelt. He’s one of my favorite historical figures and his tenacity has always been inspiring to me.
    6. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I would love to be able to play the cello. Or speak French.  
    7. When you were 5, what did you want to be when you grew up? A mom.
    8. What is something you learned in the last week? This wasn’t in the last week, because I can’t remember anything I’ve learned in the last week that’s cool enough to mention, but recently I’ve been helping my husband’s family renovate a house and I learned how to use a skill saw. So that was neat.
    9. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I don’t know about weird but one of my favorite parts of one of my previous jobs was making fudge and caramel apples at a candy shop. Everyone loves the candy lady.
    10. How do you define success? Hard work, perseverance, integrity, compassion and focus.
    11. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? I recently graduated with my second bachelor’s degree in dietetics, completed a 9 month long, unpaid dietetic internship and passed my registered dietitian certification exam (on the hottest day of the year). That whole experience definitely made me a stronger person.
    12. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Anywhere where I can hike, bike and/or run.
    13. What story does your family always tell about you? I don’t think I’m that interesting of a person because I can’t think of a single story my family tells about me.
    14. What chore do you hate the most? Cleaning the refrigerator or the oven.
    15. If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would you meet? To be honest, Jesus Christ.
    16. What three traits define you? Overanalyzer, outdoorsy, minimal
    17. What would you name the autobiography of your life? Wouldn’t you like to know.
    18. What’s the #1 thing on your bucket list? To never need a bucket list because the things I’m doing are the things that fulfill me.
    19. What’s your favorite line from a film? I’m not a big movie person so I’m not sure I have a favorite quote
    20. Tell us something that might surprise us about you. I have my motorcycle license.