Job Details

Life Lab Nutrition Instructor in PVUSD

  2021-12-13     Life Lab     1156 High Street     53,000 year  

Candidate and Position Description: Life Lab seeks an energetic, skilled and dedicated educator who has a passion for engaging elementary-age children, as well as a devotion to teaching experiential Cooking and Nutrition Education classes and supporting district Food and Nutrition Services staff in farm to school efforts. The ideal candidate will help shape Life Lab and Nutrition Services programs for sustainability and future growth.

Position Title: Life Lab Nutrition Instructor in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Time Requirements: 40 hours/week

The work schedule is aligned with PVUSD Food and Nutrition Services and the Life Lab PV Team. Typical hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm, including a 30 minute lunch, and will include some weekend and evening events.

Compensation: $53,000, paid on the 15th and last day of each month. Paid time off for vacation (15 days first year, increasing to 24 days in the fourth year), medical needs (12 days accrued per year), and holidays (12). Blue Shield Platinum Trio ACO HMO 0/25, Delta Dental, and VSP vision insurance coverages are available as part of Life Lab’s group plans, for Instructors and their partners and dependents, up to $15,600 per year in premiums paid by Life Lab.

Life Lab Core Values

Life Lab values collaboration, authentic communication, connection with people and nature, and open-inquiring minds. We also value individual initiative and cultivate a culture in which it can thrive. At Life Lab, we know that having a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives on our team improves our decision-making and programs. In addition, we recognize that staff members whose identities and lived experiences are relevant to those of the students we serve help us have the greatest impact. Therefore, we strongly encourage applicants who have experience living and working with Latinx populations in agricultural communities to apply for this position. We are a non-profit organization committed to equity and we are currently working to improve our transparency and accountability frameworks.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English. Mixteco is also helpful.
  • A passion for Life Lab’s mission to cultivate children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden-based education.
  • A deep commitment to social justice, cross-cultural relevancy, equity and inclusion.
  • Experience teaching and working with elementary-age students, especially in public school settings.
  • A love of collaborating with diverse audiences, colleagues, teachers and students.
  • Experience in, and a deep passion for, connecting kids to food systems and developing access to fresh fruit and veggies in school programs.
  • Willing and able to commit to work the entire 2021-22 PVUSD school year.
  • Associates degree or bachelor’s degree from an accredited community college or university.
  • Ability to prioritize and problem solve in a dynamic daily program environment, both independently and in collaboration with others.
  • Ability to get to and from Watsonville, CA, and PVUSD school site(s) on time each day.
  • Ability to work legally in the U.S.
  • Pass state criminal and FBI background checks, and a national check in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry.
  • Test negative for tuberculosis and for COVID-19

Desired Qualifications/Characteristics:

  • Bicultural understanding of the Watsonville community and its children’s experiences.
  • Experience in the communities of the Pajaro Valley, or a similar rural farmworker community.
  • Willingness to learn and practice Positive Discipline in working with children.
  • Clear and prompt communication.
  • Adaptable and flexible with sudden changes in program and priorities.
  • Experience with community outreach to enhance and promote strategic connections.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft and Google Suites
  • Experience creating and managing informative and educational social media accounts.

Responsibilities *Subject to the changing needs of COVID protocols*:

  • Support the Food and Nutrition Services department:
    • Install and promote salad bars in School Cafeterias
    • Harvest of the Month programming
    •  Connect with local farms, farmers, and other community partners: Such as Go For Health, Pajaro Valley Health Trust, and the City Council of Watsonville.
    • Design promotional materials for Harvest of the Month featured produce
    • Encourage fruit and veggie consumption in the cafeteria by hosting taste tests
    • Supporting Nation-wide events like School Breakfast and Lunch Week’s
    • Promote Green efforts in Cafeterias such as: waste studies, composting, plastics reduction, bulk dispensers
    • Manage social media pages: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
    • Attend monthly meetings with community groups, district health and wellness team
    • Promote and educate our community about the PVUSD meal program at community events (at least once per month)
  • Participate in weekly individual check-ins with your Program Manager Nutrition Services Supervisor, weekly Life Lab Instructor team meetings, bimonthly Nutrition Services Staff meetings, a monthly Life Lab Staff meeting, and Life Lab workshops (fees waived).
  • Participate in monthly Life Lab all-staff meetings and staff-wide JEDIS (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Solidarity) Learning Community meetings.
  • Gather and share with the Life Lab Communications and Impact Specialist photos, quotes and assessment data from your programs, to help understand their impacts, refine programs, and share stories with the community.
  • Opportunities to attend farm to school events and workshops throughout California

About Life Lab Partner Schools Program

Our seven school sites are within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District with the following PVUSD Student Demographics represented. Here are the links to each of the seven school sites: Hall District Elementary, Starlight Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, H.A. Hyde Elementary, MacQuiddy Elementary, Ann Soldo Elementary, and Amesti Elementary. Check out our Partner Schools Program website here: Life Lab Partner Schools Program. We also have a field trip site in western Watsonville called the Blooming Classroom.

About Life Lab

Life Lab is a dynamic, growing nonprofit organization with office and program locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, CA. Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education. Founded in 1979, Life Lab is a pioneer and national leader in garden-based learning, providing programs, training, and curriculum to inspire children and educators locally and nationally. We serve more than 6,000 children each year through programs at partner elementary schools across Santa Cruz County and through field trips and day camps in our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz and our Blooming Classroom in Watsonville. Through educator training, curriculum, and networking, Life Lab also positively impacts the lives of more than 500,000 children across the U.S. annually.

COVID-19 and Vaccination

Life Lab staff working at our PVUSD Partner Schools sites are required to follow school district policies regarding COVID-19 safety and vaccination requirements. Life Lab staff working at our UC Santa Cruz Garden Classroom and office site are required to follow University policies regarding COVID-19 safety and vaccination requirements. Currently, the University is requiring all staff and visitors to campus to be vaccinated. Life Lab encourages all of its team members to be vaccinated for their own health and community safety, while respecting that individual needs and circumstances may create barriers to vaccination.

Job Locations and Travel Requirements

Life Lab’s Watsonville office is along the City Plaza in downtown Watsonville and is the primary work site for this position. Parking next door is available free up to 3 hours or with an annual city parking permit, and public transit is available close by. The schools of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District are located in and around Watsonville, Las Lomas and Aptos. The Partner School sites include expansive, flat and sloping garden areas with in-ground and raised beds, dirt and mulch pathways, and a mixture of shaded and sunny areas. The Life Lab Garden Classroom and main office are located on the UC Santa Cruz organic farm, a 5-10 minute walk on a dirt path from the nearest parking lot. Closer parking is available for anyone with a disabled parking placard, and Life Lab makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with known physical or mental disabilities. UCSC parking requires a paid permit. Life Lab offices, the Garden Classroom, the UCSC campus, and PVUSD schools are all non-smoking areas.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter and resumé to Cara Wild-Sundell at by November 29, 2021. We will review materials and schedule interviews on a rolling basis. A background check will be conducted with finalists for this position. Please include how you heard about the position in your cover letter to help us improve our recruiting.

Life Lab is committed to a policy of non-discrimination as an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment candidates and employees will be considered and managed without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other basis in accordance with applicable law.

Do not contact this company in solicitation of any product or service.

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