Lena Neugebauer Retires

Montgomery ISD Director of Child Nutrition Lena Neugebauer Announces Retirement
Posted on 06/20/2023
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Child Nutrition Director Lena Neugebauer is set to retire after 30 years in education, 25 of those in Montgomery ISD. Lena has been an amazing leader of the district’s food service department, ensuring that campuses consistently serve nutritious meals with the very best customer service.

Lena started her career in education as a Cosmetology instructor in Klein ISD. She began her tenure in Montgomery ISD in 1998 as a substitute teacher, when her daughter started kindergarten in the district. Neugebauer eventually moved into the Child Nutrition department, coordinating the free and reduced lunch program and helping in campus kitchens. She served as the district’s Catering Coordinator and began the Culinary Arts program in MISD.  She became the Assistant Director of MISD Child Nutrition in 2012 and has served as Director of the department since 2014.  

Overseeing the food service operations of the district over the past decade has provided Neugebauer with a front row seat to an ever-changing landscape in school lunch programs.  Improved federal nutrition standards put in place in 2014 transformed the way school lunches must be prepared, with strict requirements surrounding ingredients and how those ingredients are sourced. These standards challenge Neugebauer and her team to get creative, developing healthy, affordable menu offerings that kids look forward to eating.

“Serving as Director of Montgomery ISD’s Child Nutrition department has been such a joy to me,” Neugebauer said.  “I just have a passion for feeding hungry kids. Lunchtime is such an important part of the school day. Seeing students in our cafeterias interacting with each other while enjoying the meals we have prepared is the best part of my job, and something that I will definitely miss. I have also really enjoyed serving a second generation of MISD students. I love meeting parents who attended schools in MISD, hearing how much they once looked forward to something like our cinnamon rolls, and knowing we are now serving their children in our cafeterias. It’s a full circle moment that is so fun and rewarding.”   

She also credits her team in Child Nutrition for their support.  “I could never have gotten to this point in my career without the wonderful people who are part of the Child Nutrition department. We have a truly amazing team filled with people who love our kids and love to serve them, and it has been such an honor to do this work with them.”

Under her leadership, the Child Nutrition department partnered with the district’s Student Nutrition Advisory Council to host MISD’s first Walkathon for Hunger in 2021. The Walkathon has become an annual community outreach event to support the Montgomery County Food Bank.  Neugebauer is proud of the way this event encourages families to spend time together outdoors, and how the Walkathon benefits the local food bank. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items as their entry to the popular event that also features a silent auction, farmer’s market and health fair. 

“We are so appreciative of Lena for her commitment to our students,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. She has done a remarkable job leading our Child Nutrition team, not only running the department efficiently, but more importantly, ensuring students are served healthy, delicious meals while meeting rigorous school nutrition standards. Montgomery ISD has been truly blessed by Lena’s leadership and we wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Montgomery ISD officials have named Pamela Mallory as Neugebauer’s successor, and the two have been able to work together this summer, ahead of Neugebauer’s retirement in August. 

Congratulations Lena and thank you for your wonderful service to Montgomery ISD!

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