Gen Sheets

Wyoming first lady Jennie Gordon presents Cody School District Food Service Director Gen Sheets with the RISE Award. 

The Cody School District’s food service director has turned heads since she arrived in town from Alaska. Now Gen Sheets has been thrust onto the national stage after being honored with a new award created to recognize classified employees like her. 

On May 27, Sheets was honored with the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees Award, among the first of its kind ever awarded. She was presented with the award by Wyoming first lady Jennie Gordon, who stopped at a number of places in town to honor those working to make food more available.

Sheets has helped to get local food producers more involved in school meals and, during the pandemic, led a program to provide meals to families and students in need.

“I try to pass the recognition along to the staff, because without them I can do nothing,” Sheets said. “I feel terrible they couldn’t all be here to celebrate with me.”

Sheets was one of two employees in the state honored with the award and will join a pool of nominees from 20 states. She couldn’t stay long to enjoy the celebration in her honor, though. She had to make her rounds.

“Gen is truly an unsung hero,” said Betsy Sell, the former district assistant superintendent who was on the committee that hired Sheets. “She does so much in the background, so much for others and for her crew.”

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