Small District Director Finds You Are Always on Top After Earning an SNS


SNA School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Carol Weekly

What Carol Weekly Gained From Earning Her SNS Credential:

  • Improved credibility with school principal, teachers and parents
  • Demonstrated her commitment to the school nutrition profession and the children she serves
  • Gained the expertise to manage all aspects of the entire school nutrition program
  • Boosts her self-esteem and pride in her work

The following is the fifth in a series of news stories highlighting SNA’s School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credentialing Program.

There is an old legend of Indians of the Pacific Northwest that says, the lowest part of the totem pole is the best carved and has the most significance because the chief carver personally carves or supervises the bottom ten feet of the pole. Translated to mean “wise,” Indian folklore states that the “low man” or lowest carvings on the totem pole has much more meaning than the higher figures.

“There is a feeling when you work in foodservice – especially in the cafeteria – you feel like the majority of time, you are the low man the totem pole,” explained Carol Weekly RDN, SNS, director of Child Nutrition at Queen Creek Unified School District #95 in Queen Creek, Arizona. “As we know from those who carved totem poles, it’s ok to be on the bottom. But, to rise to that level of proficiency and become a true professional, one thing that you should do is earn an SNS [School Nutrition Specialist Credential].

“You see teachers and school principals get all of these credentials and get to do all of this professional development so they sometimes look at you very differently at the school level. But when you are more educated and you are able to say you have that SNS credential, it makes a big difference with them.”

As a director of a smaller district with only eight schools, Weekly finds herself having to wear any number of foodservice hats during the course of a day. Still, one of the faster growing districts in the state, she does the whole shebang; from menu planning, marketing the program, overseeing the employees, to communicating with the parents.

“To run this program, you have to know a little bit about everything,” notes Weekly, who not only has served as president of the School Nutrition Association of Arizona (SNAAZ) but also on the SNA Board of Directors and chair of the SNA Nutrition Committee. “Everything that I do every day [at Queen Creek Unified School District] is encompassed in that SNS exam, so I really feel like it has kept me functioning and moving forward with my current job.

“Even after earning my RDN, the SNS gave me more awareness and knowledge of the foodservice world. You are definitely going learn a lot after taking and passing this test.”

Weekly, who is passionate about professional development, presented an educational session (in Spanish) at ANC last year in San Antonio, on how your job in the kitchen – whether you are a manager or a cook or a dishwasher or whatever – should be approached in a professional manner. She felt that becoming an expert in your area specialty and earning an SNS was one way to define the characteristics of a true foodservice professional.

“Professional growth and continuing to be better is something that I am really devoted to and I think is really important,” concludes Weekly, who helps SNAAZ set up their SNS exam at their conference in Arizona. “Even if you already have three credentials after your name, adding that extra one is beneficial because the SNS is going to propel you professionally within the Association and your job. Nothing can be more beneficial to your career than that.”

Learn how you can join Carol Weekly and many foodservice professionals by earning your SNS. Get started today!

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