Staff Spotlight: Nancy Vanderharr-Food Service Manager at Mickle Middle School

Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one Lincoln Public Schools staff member! Get to know the wonderful people making a positive impact across various areas within LPS. This week, meet Nancy Vanderharr, food service manager at Mickle Middle School.

“In a role that often operates behind the scenes, Nancy is someone who has a ripple throughout the entire building whether she knows it or not. She has an immense impact on the students and staff in any building she serves. She is a beacon of positivity and radiates so much joy. She takes great pride in ensuring our students have adequate nutrition during the school day and that her colleagues/staff know how valued they are in keeping the ship afloat. What truly sets her aside from others is her ability to build meaningful relationships with all she comes in contact with.”— LPS Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Brittney Hodges-Bolkovac

How long have you worked for LPS?
14 years.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
Having previous school food service experience and enjoying the work, I applied and was hired as a manager trainee.

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
The camaraderie with staff and students. The most rewarding for me are the kids when they come through the line and are so excited to eat with us, all the 'please and thank yous,” the notes that the students will send us about how much they enjoy eating lunch and how hard we work, and the students sharing stories with us.

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
No. I attended school in a small rural town in Indiana.

What path did you take after completing your formal education?
After I graduated from high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps and served four years at HMX-1 in Quantico, Va.

What do you enjoy most about the Lincoln community?
The small-town feel.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced you positively?
I love to read. As a child some of my favorite books were “The Little House on the Prairie” series and “The Boxcar Children” series. 

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
Not a teacher for me, but to the people who have made me feel welcome in the LPS community!

Do you know a LPS staff member we should feature for Staff Spotlightt? Fill out this form to nominate them!

Published: October 19, 2023, Updated: January 10, 2024

Nancy Vanderharr—Food Service Manager at Mickle Middle School