Celebrating Volunteer Week: Teresa Williams from St Joseph’s Merriwa

For the past three years, Teresa Williams has been providing her time and services to the school community of St Joseph’s Primary School, Merriwa as a parent volunteer in the role of Canteen Coordinator.

“In such a short time she has rejuvenated the canteen and made it a fantastic learning and nutritional experience for the students,” said Ashley Borg, Principal of St Joseph’s.

“Teresa has made our canteen one of the healthiest canteens in the region, with a 90% health rating.”

As a parent of four children, Teresa is conscious of the importance of a healthy diet for young children and is determined to make a difference for the students at St Joseph’s.

Teresa has introduced a new initiative at the school, incorporating student input as part of the canteen menu process.

Teresa takes time to speak to students about potential menu items, discusses ingredients and costs involved in making the items and places them on the menu for the week.

Students then work with Teresa in the canteen on Wednesday and assist to prepare and serve the food to their fellow students.

“The students love working with the food and setting the menu,” said Mr Borg.

“It gives them ownership and the ability to learn about how items are priced and created.”

Teresa also runs a healthy eating class for Stage 3 students about healthy choices as part of the initiative.

Students explore the importance of nutrition in daily life, having a healthy eating plate and other factors contributing to good eating.

“Teresa’s healthy eating class was so successful, we are looking at incorporating it in other classes on a more regular basis so all students can access her knowledge and contribute to the canteen,” said Mr Borg.

“We are very appreciative of Teresa’s efforts to make our school the best it can be.

 “As Principal, I am privileged to have so much support from a wonderful staff, and families.

“Our volunteers make so much difference to our school and Teresa is no exception. The difference she has made to the students with their healthy eating and their willingness to try new foods is fantastic. She is truly an asset to our school.

“St Joseph’s is a small, rural school in a rather isolated area of the Upper Hunter Valley, so we rely very heavily on the expertise and support of our wonderful families.

“All of our volunteers are valued and contribute wonderfully to the life of the school.”

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Gabrielle Sutherland Image
Gabrielle Sutherland

Gabrielle Sutherland is a Marketing & Communications Officer for the Catholic Schools Office and a regular contributor to mnnews.today and Aurora.