Friday, July 17, 2015

Four School Nutrition Professionals Recognized for Extraordinary Achievements



Salt Lake City, UT (July 12, 2015) – The School Nutrition Association (SNA) recognized four of its own today at the 69th Annual National Conference, in Salt Lake City, UT.  In addition to state and regional award winners, four SNA members received national recognition for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena:

Ann Roberson’s upbeat attitude and inspiring work ethic has earned her the Employee of the Year Award and a place in the hearts of students and staff at Pierce County High School in Georgia. Ann has excellent rapport with her students, connecting with each of them as they come through the cafeteria and making an extra effort to engage any students sitting alone. She’s known as a team player, quick to take on new responsibilities, support her coworkers and promote a positive work environment. Ann goes above and beyond, developing new, healthy recipes and volunteering to spearhead the expansion of the district’s summer meal program into local churches, successfully increasing the program’s reach by 7,000 meals.

Lizabeth Randall, SNS of Wayzata Public Schools in Minnesota has earned the Manager of the Year Award for her constant focus on improving the cafeteria experience for students and staff. With student wellness in mind, Lizabeth redesigned the serving lines and developed a visual labeling system to encourage students to select more fresh fruits and vegetables. To help young students navigate the cafeteria, she produced informative videos and hosts Parent Forums throughout the school year, showcasing serving lines and foodservice operations. Wayzata’s Culinary Express team also appreciates Lizbeth’s efforts to improve staff training and professional development.

Leah Schmidt, SNS, of Hickman Mills C-1 School District in Missouri has earned the Director of the Year Award. As nutrition services director, Leah has focused on expanding access to healthy meals for students, implementing Grab and Go and Universal breakfast programs, starting the first supper program in the state and helping establish a weekend BackSnacks program to benefit families in need. She revitalized the menu with offerings like Roasted Chicken Curry, Sweet Potato Crusted Fish and fresh Chef Salads. With the support of her devoted staff, the district has increased the number of healthy meals served by 82%. Leah has also hired a registered dietitian to conduct nutrition education in the classroom, partnered with local farmers on student events and coordinated a wellness mentoring program among teens and elementary students.  Leah served as 2013-2014 School Nutrition Association President.

The Industry Member of the Year Award goes to Tracey Tinder, ConAgra Foods, Inc.’s Western Regional Sales Manager K-12 School Specialist. Once a beneficiary of the National School Lunch Program, Tracey has dedicated the last 18 years to strengthening the program for students. She hosts taste tests and nutrition fairs, volunteers to teach staff development and training sessions and even launched an “Adopt a School Program” to better support the districts she has served. Among her many critical roles at California SNA, Tracey has devoted countless hours to the affiliate’s Public Policy and Legislation Committee, collaborated with operators to develop impactful legislative resources, and raised funds allowing 140 SNA members to participate in legislative conferences. Tracey currently serves as a member of the SNA Industry Advisory Board.

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