AFSA Member Spotlight: Cristine Holmer

Cristine Holmer has a lot to be proud of.

As food services area supervisor, managing all of the food services in the Hoover High cluster of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), she is highly respected among her peers. Holmer puts her heart into everything she does, on the job and in her free time. 

She began her worklife running a family-owned business for 12 years. 

“My mom has most influenced my career path by understanding what it’s like to be a woman in the workforce,” she noted. “I’m young, I’m female, and I speak my mind. I’ve had to learn to navigate an office-political structure versus running my own business.” 

For the past eight years, Holmer has represented her constituents on the Administrators Association San Diego City Schools (AASD, AFSA Loca 134). Supporting her peers in the Food and Nutrition Services Department is something she is proud of. She appreciates the opportunities her union gives her to grow in her field and reinforce her knowledge. 

“My greatest success is helping others to grow and self develop, building their self esteem,” she said. 

On her own time, Holmer participates in a number of statewide organizations, such as the School Nutrition Association and the Employee Wellness Committee. She also enjoys volunteering as a Girl Scout troop leader, serving as president of a local girls' softball league, and participating in many activities in her church. 

Holmer was recently appointed by California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to the Child Nutrition Advisory Council as the food service supervisor/manager representative from a large pool of candidates. Among these notable accomplishments, Holmer also has received awards for her service to students, and was an AASD Distinguished Leader Award. 

When COVID-19 ravaged the country, Holmer noted that instead of seeing it as a setback and succumbing to the hardships, she used it as a tool to push her workers through. Looking back, she describes this challenge as one of her most rewarding moments throughout her career. 

“I became more of a nurturer and a cheerleader,” she said. “I had to remind everyone that the work they were doing was important to our community. Food service never stops, we just grew from there. It really became more of making sure my employees felt safe, and that was a new concept.” 

The three words she used to describe what she did during the peak of COVID were: “Thrived, evolved and adapted.”