SNA Celebrates National Award Winners for School Lunch Hero Day (Fri. May 5)



Contact: Elizabeth Cowles Johnston  


SNA Celebrates National Award Winners for School Lunch Hero Day (Fri. May 5)  


NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – In preparation for School Lunch Hero Day, the non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has announced national award winners, recognizing an exceptional school nutrition director, manager and employee amongst regional winners. This Friday, May 5, schools nationwide will celebrate all school nutrition heroes for their dedication to expanding access to healthy school meals and show appreciation with thanks, cards and recognition.

SNA continues to work with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, and Random House Children’s Books, to celebrate all of America’s school nutrition professionals through School Lunch Hero Day.

“School nutrition professionals are essential to the success of each student, providing healthy fuel for their brains and a warm, welcoming cafeteria environment,” said SNA President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS. “The level of dedication and passion shown by SNA’s award winners is a great representation of the work being done by school nutrition professionals around the country.”

Employees, managers and directors were nominated for awards at the state level, and those winners were considered for awards within seven regions across the country. Of those regional winners, the following were selected as SNA’s national award recipients based on their amazing efforts:

Vicky Lafferty from Shiloh Middle School in Carroll County Public Schools, Md., has earned the Employee of the Year Award. Lafferty makes her school’s cafeteria a positive and welcoming environment for her students. She greets children by name, often remembering their favorite foods as well. She takes great pride in the appearance and display of food prior to service, providing food samples for healthy new menu options to help create enthusiasm among the students. She also loves to decorate serving lines for seasons and holidays, cheering up students and staff as they choose their school meals. As cook, Lafferty will also coordinate her menu with classroom activities, like preparing orange chicken for a Chinese Day cultural event or crafting a special menu for the Baseball Opening Day event. Through her actions, she helps to nourish her students mentally, visually and nutritionally.

Treasa Markle from Ebb Valley Elementary in Carroll County Public Schools, Md., has earned the Manager of the Year Award. Markle holds her students’ academic health to the same high standards as their nutritional health, coordinating with curriculum to promote One School One Book, State History Day, Reading Across America, Project Aces and Summer Reading Breakfast. Always the team player, Markle works closely with school staff and PTA on school events, including carnivals, Coach-Bag Bingo, Student Book Bingo, Empty Bowls Outreach, Food Drives and Paws for Ability fundraisers. The dedicated nutrition manager also strives to include the community where she can, inviting parents, central office employees, system-wide maintenance employees, local business owners and elected officials to the Student Thanksgiving Dinner. Markle invites PTA members and retired employees to return and volunteer their time in service on the big day, with a turnout of roughly 120 adults enjoying the holiday dinner. The student participation rates have doubled due to the excitement. The Food Service Program has benefitted systemically from this event and increased adult Thanksgiving participation in all schools.

Mark Bordeau, SNS, Senior Director of Food Service for Broome Tioga - Board of Cooperative Educational Services, N.Y., has earned the Director of the Year Award. Bordeau has worked tirelessly for his district in creative and generous ways. In 2006, he and his team created a nationally recognized marketing brand, “Rock on Café,” which combines nutrition and education to create a fun dining experience for students. In the last three years, the team instituted the Community Eligibility Provision to four of their districts, Provision 2 breakfast to nine districts, and implemented Breakfast in the Classroom in three districts this year, with an additional four districts starting the program in 2017-18. For 16 years, he worked alongside with students, faculty, staff & administrators from Binghamton City Schools to host a Community Thanksgiving Dinner for over 3,000 people at Binghamton High School.

SNA is also recognizing the following regional award winners. National, regional and state level award winners will all be honored in July during the awards ceremony at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Employee of the Year:
Mideast: Vicky Lafferty, Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland (National winner)
Midwest: Krystal Schaetz, Winona School District #861, Minnesota
Northeast: Christina Hartman, Needham Public School, Massachusetts
Southeast: Trish Dawson, Fayette County Public Schools, Kentucky
Southwest: Marsha Schultz, Paola Unified School District 368, Kansas
West: Connie Cummings, Davis School District, Utah

Manager of the Year:
Mideast: Treasa Markle, Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland (National winner)
Midwest: Stacey Kindred, Lee's Summit R-7 School District, Missouri
Northeast: Dianne Ferguson, Reading Public School District, Massachusetts
Northwest: Kathy Carpenter, Boise School District, Idaho
Southeast: Kathy Harmon, McMinn County School District, Tennessee
Southwest: Kevin Huffman, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma
West: DeLona Wuthrich, Davis Public Schools, Utah

Director of the Year:
Mideast: Debbie Derico, Marshall County Schools, West Virginia
Midwest: Michael Gasper, School District of Holmen, Wisconsin
Northeast: Mark Bordeau, SNS, Broome Tioga - Board of Cooperative Educational Services, New York (National winner)
Northwest: Carmen Griffith, Joint School District 171 Schools, Idaho
Southeast: Cleta Long, EdD, SNS, Bibb County Schools, Georgia
Southwest: Deanna Gilbert, Hope Public Schools, Arkansas
West: Brenda Robinson, Bakersfield City Schools, California

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 57,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit


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