Education Sessions—In-Person

Virtual SNIC Education Sessions

SNIC-2022-better together


We’ve got great educational content on critical school nutrition topics this year, with additional, shorter sessions to ease us back in to in-person learning. Explore below, and also see which sessions will also appear at Virtual SNIC. (Content is subject to change.) 

Learning Bursts Sessions Ideas@Work Industry  

Learning Bursts

Great educational content, packed into a shorter time. Sessions on critical school nutrition topics designed for shorter virtual attention spans and curious minds. 

Monday, January 17, 10:00 am–10:30 am 

Leader or Manager? Key Differences That Make All the Difference
Speaker: Beth Wallace, MBA, SNS 

You have the experience and the title of a director or manager, but would your team describe you as a strong leader?  And while the defining characteristics of a leader may not be in your job description, they are ultimately the most important factors for success in the workplace. Join SNA President, Beth Wallace, to discuss how to develop leadership skills at any stage in your career. Discover how implementing small changes can result in transformative relationships, stronger teamwork and higher retention. In fact, in your cafeteria or office, it will produce the desired results of creativity and innovation! Don’t miss this interactive session...because leadership takes practice. 

An Express Tour of LEAD to Succeed ™
Speaker: Alyssia Wright, Ed.s; Christina Uticone, MA

Take a tour of the School Nutrition Foundation’s high-quality LEAD to Succeed™ training program available at NO COST to all school nutrition professionals.  All of your questions will be answered: Where can I find it? How does it work and how can I use it? Who is it meant for? Who has used it so far?  and much more!  Learn about the current communications modules and get a preview of upcoming modules, too. Plus, hear from operators who have benefited from the training and find out how easy it is to bring the program to your staff.   

Top 5 Ways School Nutrition Prepared Me for Top Chef
Speaker: Bettina Applewhite, MS, RDN, LDN, SNS 

If you are not familiar with Top Chef Amateurs here’s the premise. It is a competition-based television show where two amateur cooks work on a team with a professional chef to make the best possible meal. The competition involves using a random selection of ingredients and in a limited amount of time. . And then serving the creation to a panel of picky eaters. Sound familiar? That’s because it parallels the daily adventures of school nutrition professionals! Thinking on your feet, and being able to make delicious, nutritious meals based on the available foods is certainly a skill. That’s why School Nutrition Specialist, Bettina Applewhite, was uniquely prepared for the challenge of competing on Top Chef Amateurs— because of the experiences she gained in her school nutrition program’s kitchen. Hear the lessons she learned, and why you may be more prepared than you think for you next big challenge.  

USDA Foods: Creative Cooking for the Win!
Speaker: Valerie Weivoda, MS, RD, LD, SNS 

With USDA Foods in our freezers, and less staff to prepare it, creative cooking might seem like a daunting endeavor right now...  Join this learning burst to hear why it’s more important than ever to embrace scratch cooking techniques—and see how one district is getting creative with  USDA Foods and still making the menu items students crave.  Part of ACDA and SNA’s USDA Foods Series. 

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Education Sessions

Interactive 60-minute sessions on some of the hottest topics in school nutrition.   

Monday, January 17, 2:30 pm–3:30 pm 

Supply Chain Woes: What Have We Learned?
Speaker: Jill Kidd, MS, RD, SNS; Katie Wilson, PhD, SNS 

The school nutrition supply chain was already showing signs of stress long before COVID-19 but the pandemic highlighted it and accelerated some of the most challenging issues. Join the Urban School Food Alliance’s Jill Kidd and Dr. Katie Wilson to discuss best practices with examples from the largest districts in the country related to menu planning, procurement and transparency with the supply chain.  

Building a Resilient Team
Moderator: Molly Brandt, RD, SNS

We all want our teams to enjoy their work and have daily positive interactions with students, stakeholders, and each other. But on days when deliveries are running late, or staff repeatedly call in sick, morale amongst the team can quickly deteriorate. 

How do we stay resilient when dealing with these challenges? It starts with support from leadership and continues with communication and compassion—all of which is easier said than done. Join a roundtable discussion to share ideas of how you are training your team to be adaptable and resilient during these challenging times. 

Remodeling in a Pandemic: A Small District Meet-Up!
Speaker: Leah Feagin, SNS 

Are you from a small district and thinking about renovating? Learn how the pandemic and supply chain issues didn’t stop one small school district from pursuing a high school cafeteria renovation. Actually, these obstacles only made the payoff more rewarding—higher student satisfaction, boosted participation and improved staff morale!. Discuss how a redesign and new cafeteria equipment can increase meal flexibility, food customization, cost savings and energy efficiency. Gain practical inspiration with plenty of examples and renovation pictures, and   use this opportunity to ask questions, compare notes and expand your network of peers from small districts across the country.  Sponsored by PrimeroEdge

Tuesday, January 18, 9:00 am–10:00 am 

USDA Foods Planning: A Panel Discussion

Got a freezer full of pizza dough, but no cheese? How about 20 cans of salsa, but no chips? Hear from a panel of school nutrition professionals from various sized districts, as they share their secrets to making school meals work every day...with whatever food you have on hand!  Discover the panel’s plans for SY2022-23, as USDA Foods continue to play a pivotal role during the supply chain recovery.   

They’ll also share ideas to embrace the challenges, and uncover real opportunities for new, great menu items moving forward. Part of ACDA and SNA’s USDA Foods Series. 

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Ideas@Work Sessions

These popular fast-paced learning sessions are focused on singular innovations. Trace the path of a big idea from concept to implementation, identifying the steps to put the idea to work in your operation.  Sponsored by PrimeroEdge.

Tuesday, January 18, 8:45 am–9:15 am & repeated at 9:30 am–10:00 am 

Thinking Outside (and Inside) the Box: How Storage Containers Solve Program Constraints
Speaker: Cacyce Davis, MPH, RD, LD 

Some say, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and as school nutrition programs nationwide face tight regulations, labor shortages and supply issues, one district took this adage to heart and got creative. Learn how inventive serving and storage solutions for curbside pickup and summer feeding have also been the solution to staffing and product constraints due to supply chain issues.  Discover creative ways to use bulk meal service and shipping containers to save time, minimize labor and serve more students.  

A Fresh Take on Farm to School
Speaker: Kate Murphy, SNS 

Farm to school is an incredible sustainability model, but can it increase student engagement and participation? Most definitely! Discover how a school Farmers’ Market, that incorporates produce samples and farmer demonstrations, gets students excited to see fresh ingredients on their cafeteria trays. Learn fresh approaches to introducing farm to school, like corn shucking in PE class or pickling in math class, and the best ways to give teachers and administrators a “tiny taste” when it comes to incorporating farm to school into the curriculum. This session will show you how farm to school is a win-win-win for students, teachers and your school nutrition program’s bottom line, too.  

Save Time and Money in Your Kitchens
Speaker: Brandon Durio, CEC  

How many times does your staff read a recipe before starting to cook? Do they prep ahead? Do they gather the right tools for the job? School kitchens are so diverse, and your staff needs guidance to utilize everything in the kitchen to be as efficient as possible. Join Executive Chef, Brandon Durio, on how to provide the "tips and tools of the trade" within your recipes to prepare your staff, no matter what the kitchen surroundings may be.

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Industry Education Sessions

Educational content especially for industry partners are scheduled concurrent to innovative solution sessions. 

Sunday, January 16, 10:30 am–11:30 am 

The Operator Perspective: What’s Ahead for School Nutrition?
Panelists: Patti Bilbrey, Chris Burkhardt, SNS, Paula DeLucca, SNS, Warren DeShields, Bertrand Weber
Moderator: Nicole Nicoloff

As school nutrition industry partners, it’s your business to stay in tune with the K-12 foodservice market—which includes regularly researching the obstacles facing K-12 operators. This session provides an excellent opportunity for you to do just that. You’ll hear from three district directors, from three different sized districts, as they discuss the effects the current climate has had on their school nutrition programs. The panel will share their current realities, future plans and how they are approaching bids for next year— and what industry partners can do to help

Sunday, January 16, 1:30 pm–2:30 pm 

Food Supply, Distribution and School Meals
Moderator: Patti Montague, FASAE, CAE, Beth Wallace, MBA, SNS

We are all finding it difficult to keep up with demand of product requests from school nutrition programs. In this session, hear from a panel of distributors and food manufacturers about the disruptions that are making it impossible to keep up — and the steps they are taking to ensure they can. The discussion will include insight into current labor and product shortages and the reality that K-12 foodservice programs are competing with other market sectors for production and distribution time. Join in for an opportunity to brainstorm ideas to keep these crucial partners in the school nutrition segment. 

Monday, January 17, 11:00 am–12:00 pm 

Food Supply, Distribution and School Meals Discussion Part 11

Building on the previous industry discussions on Sunday and the general sessions on staffing and supply chain disruptions, in this session we drill down and discuss key challenges driving cost increases, supply chain disruptions and potential solutions. These challenges include raw material shortages, packaging, staffing, freight, commodities, distribution and more which are all contributing to the supply chain disruptions.    

The in-person conference also includes the option for pre-conference workshops, and don’t forget to check out our General Sessions! 

Learning Bursts Sessions Ideas@Work Industry  

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Arlington, VA 22206  

Tel (703) 824-3000
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