Four School Nutrition Professionals Recognized for Extraordinary Achievements ANC 2014



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


Four School Nutrition Professionals Recognized for Extraordinary Achievements  


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Boston, MA (July 13, 2014) - The School Nutrition Association (SNA) recognized four of its own today at the 68th Annual National Conference, in Boston, MA. In addition to state and regional award winners, four SNA members received national recognition for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena:

The National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence in School Nutrition was awarded to Gail Gramling, Cafeteria Supervisor for North High School in Torrance Unified School District, CA.
Gail’s leadership and dedication revitalized the nutrition environment at North High School. Focusing on student connections and customer service, she implemented a training program for her staff to improve the school meal program. She encourages team members to engage with the students, guiding them through meal options and offering assistance. She also emphasizes camaraderie among her staff and recognizes their commitment with Shiny Apple Recognition awards, which are selected based on faculty and student nominations. Gail’s efforts not only enhanced the day-to-day cafeteria experience, but also improved the overall image of the program, helping to increase student participation.

The 2014 National Outstanding Director of the Year is Lauren Teng, SNS, Director of Student Nutrition from Huntington Beach Union High School District in Huntington Beach, CA.
Lauren put her entire school district on the path to success, in a matter of just six months by streamlining operations, eliminating unnecessary expenses, and expanding her menu. Her vision helped transform the school’s cafeteria into a modern food court, offering freshly made entrees, harvest of the month items and theme lunches. To align with the healthy meals served at school, she initiated a successful nutrition education curriculum, now offered in 40 schools and reaching 20,000 students. A compassionate leader, Lauren always ensures that her team has every opportunity to learn more about their craft and advance their skill set, implementing training opportunities, emphasizing customer service, and establishing an in-house academy for staff career development. In addition to her 31 years as school foodservice director, Lauren constantly looks for ways to promote wellness within the community, spearheading a health fair, serving on the county Food Safety Advisory Council, and overseeing the coordination of parent nutrition classes.

This year’s National Heart of the Program Award goes to Brenda Thompson of Raymond Cree Middle School in Palm Springs, CA.
Brenda is known for going above and beyond to make her lunchroom fun and inviting to students. For Halloween, Brenda dressed as a pumpkin for the “Cafeteria Spook-tacular” and “scarefully” reminded students to take a fruit or vegetable with each of their meals. Brenda is also known for offering menu samples, encouraging students to taste test less familiar choices like kale chips, Asian pears and jicama. Brenda has worked for years as a silent partner with the school guidance counselor to help kids in need. As students come through the cafeteria, she looks out for any broken eyeglasses or worn out backpacks or shoes so these students can be discretely connected with special assistance programs. She also collects books, blankets and jackets for a local home benefiting needy children.

The 2014 National Industry Member of the Year is Stacy Sagowitz, RD, SNS, MBA, President of School Nutrition Services in Irvine, CA.
Throughout her 36 year career in child nutrition, including serving as a school food service director and an active SNA industry member, Stacy has been committed to helping school nutrition programs in their efforts to serve healthy meals and improve food safety and sanitation. In her current position as President of School Nutrition Services, Stacy is a steadfast resource to school nutrition professionals and companies, offering clarity and guidance on the changing regulations and rigorous nutrition standards. Her industry know-how and fierce dedication to child nutrition provides her with a unique perspective, allowing her to empower others to implement effective school nutrition programs. She also provides extensive educational sessions covering topics on food safety, sanitation and Federal procurement requirements, as well as supports the prestigious School Nutrition Specialist credential through exam prep courses. Working alongside school foodservice professionals in a myriad of ways, Stacy directly impacts the day-to-day operations and successes of today's school nutrition programs.

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 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 about ANC, visit


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