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St. Peter's graduate working as an MCS food service intern
Leslie Stewart fullLeslie Stewart, left, reviews school lunch menus with food service manager Lauren Moran and assistant manager Erin Mudra.

      Leslie Stewart graduated from St. Peter’s High School in 2015 with no idea what her college major field of study should be. But it didn’t take long for her to decide once she set foot on the Ohio State University campus.

      “I went to college undecided about my undergraduate degree but during my first semester at Ohio State I became interested in nutrition as a profession,” Stewart said.

      She graduated last spring with a degree in human nutrition and now is on the path to becoming a licensed registered dietician. Part of that process is a requirement that she complete 1,200 hours of supervised experience as an intern in four rotations in professional food service environments.

      Stewart’s first internship was at Avita Health System’s Bucyrus Hospital. A few weeks ago she began work as an intern in the Mansfield City Schools food service department.

      “I have helped to develop some school lunch menus and studied labor costs, production sheets and delivery schedules,” she said. “I also have visited schools and observed their food service operations.”

      Like all other school districts, Mansfield City Schools must meet federal nutrition and portion requirements when planning menus.

      Stewart is working with MCS food service manager Lauren Moran and assistant manager Erin Mudra.

      “We enjoy having Leslie with us. She is experiencing all facets of the daily operation of food service,” Moran said.

      Stewart will continue working in Mansfield City Schools through the first week of January, then will complete two more internships at sites yet to be determined.

      When those internships are completed Stewart will take the demanding registered dietician test administered by the Ohio Commission on Dietetic Registration to earn her license.

      What kind of professional setting would she like to work in someday?

      “I’m not sure yet,” Stewart said. “I enjoyed working at Avita and I have enjoyed working here.”

      No matter where she works one day, her goal will be the same: helping others to make good nutrition choices as an important part of living healthy lives.