Douglas County School District

ESP Hannah Grat

Meet the Nutrition Magicians that Deserve Some Recognition

When you walk into the kitchen at Douglas County Montessori Charter School (DCMCS) you get the “small town” close knit feeling of community…. but the year at DCMCS did not start out like feeling that way.

Hannah Grat took over as the Kitchen Manager two weeks prior to the start of the 2016/2017 school year. When we toured the kitchen together, we found that the kitchen did not look like a kitchen at all.

What we found, upon our arrival, was a kitchen that had been disassembled for summer and it was hard to picture where the equipment went or where to start. The space is shared with the custodians and the BASE program, each with items all around. Hannah did not waiver or show concern as we both wondered to ourselves, “How do we serve lunch with this set up or lack of it?”

Over the next two weeks Hannah set up the kitchen, met with her staff (one of them brand new), met the school office staff, placed two weeks of orders, learned about the Middle School site where lunch would need to be transported and served in a second building on the campus, and opened the doors on the first day of school with a smile.

Fast forward four months….

I walk up to the back door of DCMCS and ring the doorbell. Hannah comes to unlock it and greets me with the biggest smile as she welcomes me into her kitchen. She escorts me to the serving area to show me the “Chain Reaction of Kindness”.  She asked the students of DCMCS to make paper chains to help decorate for the holiday season with a slight twist. Hannah asked the students to include a statement on each link of an act of kindness performed for someone other than themselves.

Hannah hung a quote that stated, “It’s the little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”.

What happened next is the best part!

Chains flooded into the kitchen, each link with a hand written act of kindness carefully written on it. Imagine my enjoyment as I make my way through the serving area reading things like:

“I cleared the dishes for my Mom.”

“I gave my brother the remote control to pick his show.”

“I sat with my grandpa and drew him a picture.”dcmcs-chain

“I shared part of my cookie I got in my lunch. (Peanut butter reindeer cookie.)

The chain went on and on.

I am not sure how many people made their way through the serving area to read these chains. What I can tell you is that you need a bit of time set aside if you want to read each one. The response Hannah received from a small request grew to a heartfelt, make you feel good, holiday treat for anyone lucky enough to pass through. It showed me once again that our department and the people we have working in it, make a difference in our schools and create connections with our students in amazing ways!

Way to go Hannah, Katie and Bobbie for working so hard each day to serve the students at DCMCS.


Written by: Julie Caughey (Area Manager)


Sept 2016-Kristina Keer 

Oct 2016- Isabel McMahon

Oct 2016-Reva Straine

Nov 2016-George Boucher

Dec 2016-Greg Morton and the Logistics Mgmt Team