WAUSAU — Rene Ison, kitchen manager at John Muir Middle School, received the Resolution of Commendation from the Wausau School District Board of Education for being named the 2019 Manager of the Year for Wisconsin by the School Nutrition Association, the Wausau School District announced in September.

“On an ordinary work day, all of Rene’s energy, enthusiasm and excitement can be found in the John Muir kitchen,” said Karen Fochs, director of school nutrition services, in a news release. “Last year, Rene’s kitchen entertained an average of 161 student guests for breakfast and another 700 student guests for lunch.
“Rene’s love for the district reaches into many areas outside of school nutrition, such as teaching after-school programming, assisting with after-school sporting events and answering questions for students with essay writing challenges. Rene has never been afraid of the word ‘change’ and she is willing to try new and efficient ways to serve food to students utilizing best practice ideas from school food shows and from the many meetings she attends. What sets Rene apart is her ability to stay positive and do the right thing for the students and her coworkers. … Rene is a walking billboard for school nutrition. She leads by example, sparks enthusiasm in everyone she meets and manages daily kitchen challenges with ease.”
Photo courtesy Wausau School District. Pictured are Keith Hilts, Wausau School District superintendent, from left, Rene Ison, Tricia Zunker, school board president, and Karen Fochs, director of school nutrition services.