Coming from a very large family, Oreal Oladele seemed destined to have kids of her own one day.
And she does, just not quite as many as some of her ancestors.
The new school nutrition director for Bartow County Schools is spending this Mother’s Day with her daughter and twin sons as well as with her own mom.
“Being a mother is so rewarding,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see my children grow and to help them mold their character. I love celebrating with them and watching them accomplish their goals and dreams.”
Name: Oreal Oladele
Occupational title: School nutrition director
City of residence: Roswell
Education: Bachelor of Science in family and consumer science from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg and Master of Science in food and nutritional sciences from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama
Family: Husband Emmanuel Oladele of 11 years on May 31; one daughter, Elise Oladele, turning 7 today; and twin boys, Ethan and Edison Oladele, turning 3 on May 16
Daily Tribune News: How do you and your family typically spend Mother’s Day and what do you have planned for this year?
Oreal Oladele: We start out Mother’s Day by going to church as a family. We then spend the day with my husband’s mother in Georgia or my mother in South Carolina. This year, I’ll be traveling with my husband and three children to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. My daughter’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day this year, and my twin boys’ birthdays are next week so we will be celebrating all three birthdays on Sunday as well.
DTN: When did you start working for Bartow County Schools, and why did you want to be the school nutrition director there?
OO: I started working for Bartow County Schools in March 2019. It is a school nutrition program to look up to, and I wanted to join and carry on the momentum as well as raise the program to the next level.
DTN: How and when did you get interested in making school nutrition a career?
OO: About 10 years ago, I was finishing my master’s degree program and searching for jobs when I came across school nutrition. After being hired within school nutrition following graduation, the more I learned about the field, the more I loved it.
DTN: What are your responsibilities as the school nutrition director?
OO: As director, I ensure that we are in compliance with all federal, state and local requirements in addition to monitoring the program to ensure financial stability. I make sure the team morale is harmonious so we can be successful in meeting our goals.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about working in school nutrition and why?
OO: I enjoy the day-to-day variety of the job. Throughout a workday, I can be in the office developing standard operating procedures or out in the field enhancing food presentation and getting student feedback. I love getting the opportunity to speak with students in the cafeteria and see that our meals are enhancing academic success.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
OO: “It’s Me: Oreal.”
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
OO: God-fearing, happy-go-lucky, resilient
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
OO: I would visit the 16th century. I am fascinated by the history of that time period. Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots. The rivalry.
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
OO: Yes! I plan to visit every state in the United States and have been to 22 states so far.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
OO: I come from a very large family. My dad is one of 10 children, and my mom is one of 12, all children on both sides from the same mother and father. I have close to 100 first cousins. My grandparents, both sets, were very conservative and didn’t believe in contraceptives.
DTN: If you could have dinner with any historical figure or celebrity, past or present, who would you pick and why?
OO: I would have dinner with Nelson Mandela. I think Nelson Mandela was really interesting because his oppressor jailed him, and instead of getting revenge when he had the chance, he took the higher road and thought of actions to better his country.