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AQ GRAD APPOINTED TO GRAND HAVEN SCHOOL BOARD OF EDUCATION

August 18, 2010 - Recent Aquinas College graduate Jennifer Williams has been appointed to the Grand Haven School Board of Education in Grand Haven, Michigan. She was selected from a pool of eight other applicants to fill the vacancy on the board created by the resignation of Brandon Hall in May 2010.

Williams graduated from Aquinas in May 2009 with a bachelor of arts in political science. She went on to study anthropology through a Ph.D. program at Michigan State University and also served on the Grand Haven Township Planning Commission. Williams currently serves on the Public Policy Committee for the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce, as well as on both the Wellness Committee and the Diversity Committee for Grand Haven Public Schools.

Williams initially began to get involved with the school system through her efforts to bring a Farm to School program to Grand Haven. The program connects schools with local farms to help serve healthy meals in the cafeterias, improving student nutrition while supporting local and regional farmers.

“It’s a more sustainable approach to food,” said Williams. “[The program encourages] buying local, fresh, farm foods rather than unhealthy, processed foods, which are unfortunately the norm.”

Through her work with the Michigan and Ottawa County Farm Bureaus, state representatives and the Grand Haven mayor and township supervisor, Williams developed a working relationship with the Board of Education and was encouraged to apply for the opening seat left by Hall.

“A more sustainable school district is my goal while I’m serving on the Board of Education,” said Williams, an objective she credits to Aquinas’ Dr. Matthew Tueth, Steelcase Foundation Professor of Sustainable Business. “I swear, take a Tueth class and your life is changed forever!”

To learn more about Farm to School programs, visit www.farmtoschool.org.