CACFP Inspire: Derek Sego of Sunshine Academy
September 19, 2022
Sunshine Academy is a preschool and daycare with three locations in Utah. It offers programs for infants and toddlers, two-year-olds, preschool, before and after school care as well as a summer camp. These multi-purpose centers emphasize development, learning and health. Derek Sego has been the regional manager for Sunshine Academy for 14 years, overseeing operations for all three sites, including the CACFP.
Healthy food is a pillar of care at Sunshine Academy. In fact, it’s even a major selling point for potential families, with the website proudly proclaiming:
“We know that healthy food is an important part of a child's development. At Sunshine Academy, we make nutritious meals that your children will enjoy. We offer breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, and an evening snack each day. We like to mix it up and have a winter, spring, summer, and a fall menu with four rotating menus for each season.”
With food being central to Sunshine Academy’s work, it’s no wonder that Derek’s job is critical to operations. He is in charge of the food program training, audits, and helps with the daily routines of the food program management. Derek contributes his knowledge for all new employees and has regular monthly staff training on the program. He takes the nutritional health of the children at Sunshine Academy very seriously.
During the pandemic, Derek took on the extra tasks of building greenhouses at two locations, fully outfitted with electricity and hydroponic systems, in order to teach children to plant and grow food. He then took it further and developed cooking classes for school-aged children who attend Sunshine Academy.
Indeed, Derek, has been enthusiastic and hard-working to make sure the children of Sunshine Academy are receiving healthy and nutritious meals.