Adele Leonard Receives National Award

Adele Leonard at the recent celebration honoring her for her service to Rockland. To Adele's right is John Retchless, Superintendent of Schools

Adele Leonard at the recent celebration honoring her for her service to Rockland. To Adele’s right is John Retchless, Superintendent of Schools

Jillian Donahue
Veritas Staff

Rockland’s food service director, Adele Leonard, was presented with two major awards from Chartwell’s Food Service at a celebration held in the lecture hall on Nov. 10.

Leonard is in charge of the food service for Rockland’s three elementary schools, Memorial Park, Esten, and Jefferson, along with the Rogers Middle School, and our high school.

The first award is the New England Salaried Associate of the Year Award. The second award is the National Salaried Associates Award.
Chartwell’s District Marketing Manager, Tammy Dubois began the presentation by explaining that Leonard has been with Chartwell’s for 25 years, and has always gone above and beyond what a food service director does.

Leonard was nominated for these awards last spring and a video by then senior Georgia Panagiotidis played a big part in her receiving the New England Award.

In the secret video staff and students explained how wonderful Adele is and why she deserved the award. When Leonard went to the awards ceremony in Connecticut they played the secret video. “I didn’t even have an idea,” she said.

In the video which was shown at the celebration last week, a common feeling about Leonard was summed up by physical education teacher, Brenda Folsom who works with Leonard on the Wellness Committee. “Adele is there for all the children of the school system. She does not sit down. She is always everywhere and goes far and above her title.”

Others on the film said that the biggest part of Leonard’s impact is her love for students and her friendliness to everyone.
Panagiotidis said, “She is an amazing woman who I look up to.”

Beverly Boughter, manager of the high school kitchen who works closely with Leonard said, “She is tough to keep up with. She is fast on her feet.”

After receiving the regional award Leonard was nominated for the national award by the Chartwell’s upper management not only for her hard work and kindness to everyone in Rockland but also because she participated in the “Be a Star.” program in which she had to complete three to five specific tasks.

For example, last year she created an event called Fear Factor where students had to try three different foods, and pick the one they liked the best.

The national award is a big deal.

Dubois explained that out of six regional award winners, Leonard was chosen for the national award.

“It’s a prestigious honor, an elite group and very competitive,” said Dubois. “She was hands down the winner, no contest!”
To receive the national award Leonard was flown out to Orlando, Florida on October 15-17 for this event which was held at the Hard Rock Cafe.

“It was really cool, amazing,” said Leonard. “I felt like I was at the Grammy’s. I felt like a rock star.”

At last week’s celebration Superintendent of Schools, John Retchless spoke highly of Leonard who has worked in Rockland for six years.

“She has made an impact on all of us. She is an incredibly positive person who has turned our program around from a deficit to a large profit in 12 months.”

Erin Long, district manager for Chartwells said, “Adele cares deeply about Rockland schools.”

Leonard who presented her cafeteria directors with flowersat the celebration said that she could not have received these awards without the people she works with.

“I love my job and my students. The staff is so supportive. It’s enjoyable and fun.”

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