About the Award

Nominate a Colleague You Admire, or Yourself!

Nominate your colleague (or yourself!) for SNA’s Employee of the Year Award. The Employee of the Year award recognizes non-managerial school nutrition employees for the contributions they have made throughout their school nutrition careers. Self-nominations are accepted for this award.

Who Can Be Nominated?

The nominee must be:

  • Currently be an SNA member in the School Nutrition or Child Care Employee section
  • Currently be employed in a school foodservice or childcare nutrition program
  • Currently be employed in a non-managerial role in the school nutrition profession, such as cook, baker, cashier, assistant, etc. awards deadline

Are There Any Restrictions?

The nominee cannot be:

  • A current state or national SNA president
  • A current SNA national Board of Directors member
  • A current member of an SNA national standing or strategic committee
  • A current SNA member in the Manager or Director category
  • Hold a title or job responsibilities that do not confirm the nominee’s status as non-managerial staff
  • A previous national winner of the Employee of the Year Award or Heart of the Program Award

Self-nominations are accepted. Nominations must be submitted through the Submittable platform. SNA will not accept nominations from current members of the SNA national Board of Directors or of SNA national

How Will the Entries Be Judged?

The nominee will be judged on four categories:

  • Customer Service Skills (worth 30% of total score)
  • Creativity (worth 20% of total score)
  • Commitment to Professional Development (worth 15% of total score)
  • Dedication to the School Nutrition Profession (worth 30% of total score)
  • Has SNA Certificate (worth 5% of total score)

State Judging: Each year every state association may award one individual with the Employee of the Year award. State entries will be judged by a panel appointed by the State President to determine a state winner. State winners submitted to SNA by March 15 will automatically advance to the regional judging.

Regional Judging: State winning entries will be judged by a panel of volunteers to determine a regional winner. Regional winners will automatically advance to the national judging.

National Judging: Regional winning entries will be judged by the National SNA Board of Directors to determine a national winner.

How will winners be recognized and rewarded?

Award winners will receive the below prizes:

  • State winners will receive a certificate.
  • Regional winners will receive a pin, certificate and $50.
  • National winners will receive a plaque and an all-expense paid trip to ANC, up to $1,000.

Additional awards and recognition may be given to state winners by the state association. Please check with your state association for more information.

Submission Deadline

March 1, 2024*
California’s submission deadline is September 1, 2023.
Alabama’s submission deadline is January 5, 2024.
Virginia’s submission deadline is January 25, 2024.

Award Winners

Connie Kingsley
Inventory Specialist
Lee’s Summit R7 School District
Lee’s Summit Missouri

Stephanie Sheley Cook
Holmen High School
School District of Holmen
WI, Holmen, WI

Christine Edelstein-Dodds
Assistant Cook
Vincent M. Igo Elementary School
Foxborough Public Schools
Foxborough, Massachusetts

Martha Pellegrino
Nutrition Educator
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School
Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District
Upton, Massachusetts

Mary LaMarche
Satellite Kitchen Assistant
Bel Air Elementary School
Harford County Public Schools
Bel Air, Maryland

Debra “Kay” Flynt
Food Service Assistant
Goodyear Elementary
Glynn County School System
Brunswick, Georgia

Vicky Lafferty
Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland