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SNA Recognizes Three Professionals for Accomplishments in School Nutrition at ANC 2006

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext. 124
epeterson@schoolnutrition.org

SNA Recognizes Three Professionals for Accomplishments in School Nutrition at ANC 2006

LOS ANGELES (July 17, 2006) – The School Nutrition Association recognized three of its own today at the 60th Annual National Conference, in Los Angeles, Calif. In addition to state award winners, three SNA members received national recognition on Sunday, July 16, 2006, for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena.

National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence went to JoAnn Kilby, foodservice manager at Sedalia Park Elementary School District in Marietta, Georgia. Kilby was recognized for increasing school lunch participation from 76% at the beginning of the school year to over 90% in December 2005. She was able to get over 250 students to sign a pledge to eat healthier and exercise more daily. Out of the 23 schools that applied for a grant form “CIGNA Health Care Foundation”, Kilby was the only food service manager who received it. She had also helped develop an after school program known as the Fitness and Nutrition Club, with the help of high school students, volunteer parents and the PTA. JoAnn and her entire staff conducted school wide promotions for each grade level, which included messages about healthy eating, exercise, snacking and school meals.

National Outstanding Director of the Year was awarded to Lynnelle Grumbles, School Foodservice Director for Visalia Unified School District in Visalia, California. An SNA member for over 19 years, Grumbles went into a district facing a deficit and low employee morale. She quickly assessed the situation and went to work. A mission statement was created for the department, plus five and ten year plans to give employees vision and direction. Under her direction, menus were changed to reflect the students preferences while still meeting USDA guidelines, a school breakfast program was established, a purchasing co-op with neighboring districts to increase buying power was organized, and employees were offered training to improve their skills. She went to classrooms to teach age-appropriate nutrition lessons to students and worked with teachers and administrators on school garden and "kids cooking" programs.

National Heart of the Program was awarded to Mary VerHaagh, a foodservice employee at the De Pere Middle School in the Unified School District of De Pere, Wisconsin. Since her employment with the district in 1987, Mary VerHaagh has created a positive environment for all of the staff and students that come into her kitchen and is known as the “go to person”. She has demonstrated her creativity by dressing up as a lion in the school play “Wild about School Lunch” to promote the school lunch program. During the 2005 National School Lunch Week, VerHaagh wrote a song for the kids to sing karaoke to the tune of Take me out the Ballgame. While in the kitchen, she likes to decorate the serving area in various themes on a monthly basis. This year she received a Golden Plate Award (like a Golden Apple for teachers) from the students for her constant commitment.

The SNA Annual National Conference, July 16 – 19, 2006, features over 4,600 child nutrition and school foodservice industry professionals participating in over 80 workshops, the school nutrition industry’s largest exhibit hall and guest speakers including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SNA (http://www.schoolnutrition.org) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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