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Jackie Wager, Award-Winning Body Builder, Brings Her Commitment to Health

September 2007

ANAHEIM, CA – Fairmont Private Schools and their food service provider, Nutrition Management Services Company (NMSC), is dedicated to providing students with hot school lunches that are not only tasty but nutritious. And there's no better example of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle than Food Service Supervisor Jackie Wager, a weight loss success story and award-winning body builder who practices what she preaches when she serves lunch in the Mable campus cafeteria each day.

"I used to weigh 210 pounds," says Wager, a food service veteran of 30 years. Realizing that she desperately needed to adopt a healthier lifestyle, she began exercising regularly and changing her eating habits. Wager knew "not to use (her) mind as a diet tool, but as a way to learn to eat healthy," and it worked. In addition to losing over 70 pounds, Wager picked up a new hobby-- body building. From the beginning, Wager has had tremendous success. She placed second in her first-ever body-building competition, and now places consistently in the top five in the events she enters. Her success is especially significant when one considers the fact that the soon to be 50 year-old is competing in a sport where her peers can be 30 years her junior.

"I'm usually the oldest girl in the shows," Wager laughs. But she believes "if you set a goal, you can be whomever you want to be, no matter if you are 10 years old or 80." Wager also applies her athletic aptitude to good causes. She's been jump roping with D.A.R.E and the American Thunder organization for five years now.

It is no wonder then that Wager, with her positive attitude and dedication to health, is an asset to Fairmont's food service program. Two years ago, the school changed food service providers to NMSC which provides students with traditional, kid-friendly items like burgers and fries, pizza and tacos with a healthier twist. For example, they prepare their pizza crust with whole-wheat instead of white flour. Taco salads are served in lieu of tacos. Their fries are baked in the oven for a much less fattening version of the customary, deep-fried French fry. And for the most part, they try to cook without additional salt.

Fairmont teaches children intelligent eating habits by providing them with access to more nutritious food choices, and with childhood obesity on the rise, it's a learning process that can't start too soon. The hot lunches offered at all six Fairmont campuses are made daily from scratch. Additionally, NMSC uses only the freshest ingredients. At the elementary campuses, students have three choices daily, one being a vegetarian dish. Junior high and high school students at Fairmont Preparatory may choose from one of five lunch stations – Asian, Pizza, Healthy Choice, Hot Entrée and Grill. During Fairmont's first year of partnering with NMSC, they faced a few challenges in offering healthy food that would still appeal to children's often picky palates. This year, they've revamped the menu to include more kid-friendly items and added a fun do-it-yourself submarine sandwich bar to the elementary line-up. NMSC staff hosts Taste Test Tuesdays each week allowing students the opportunity to try healthy food options and participate in food demonstrations like blending smoothies from fruit and yogurt. In addition, NMSC Nutritionist Teri Maldonato makes regular visits to each campus sharing key diet tips including proper portion size and eating the right combinations of food from the basic food groups.

When it comes to Wager's passion for health and fitness, Fairmont couldn't be happier to employ staff members who are modeling a healthy lifestyle and passing along their enthusiasm to students. "Jackie is an amazing ambassador for our healthy eating message, and we feel very fortunate to have someone with her energy involved in Fairmont's food service program," says Fairmont Director of Operations Chad Jackson.

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About Fairmont
With five, WASC-accredited campuses in the Orange County area, Fairmont Private Schools is the oldest and largest family of private schools in Southern California. Starting in preschool and continuing through high school graduation, Fairmont prepares students to succeed in colleges of quality and challenges them to become exemplary citizens of a global society.
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Contact: Danyelle Knight
dknight@fairmontschools.com
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