Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner, 703-576-7526, media@schoolnutrition.org

ARLINGTON, Va. – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) welcomes Chris Derico, SNS, as president for the 2023-24 school year, representing SNA’s 50,000 school nutrition professional members nationwide. Derico is also the Child Nutrition Director for Barbour County Schools in Philippi, W. Va. 

Throughout his career, Derico has worked as an educator, administrator and child nutrition director, advocating on the importance of school meals to students’ academic success and wellness. From his time as a middle school math teacher and athletic director, and then assistant principal for two high schools, Derico saw firsthand how hungry children struggle to focus in the classroom.  

In 2004, Derico made the leap from educator to Child Nutrition Director for West Virginia’s Lewis County Schools. Under Derico’s leadership, Lewis County expanded breakfast to all schools in the district and dramatically increased the high school’s average daily breakfast participation from under 25% of students to more than 75%. Derico also focused on increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, leading the program to offer a wider range of colorful options each day and provide staff training to improve preparation and presentation, including food art and serving line decorations, to get students excited about eating school meals. 

Derico moved to Harrison County Schools in March 2020 and spearheaded the district’s transition to pandemic feeding. He launched a unique partnership with FedEx and Multitude Foods to ship meal boxes to students’ homes each week, supporting the community and keeping the meal program financially sustainable. In July 2021, Derico’s role expanded to managing all aspects of secondary education, curriculum development and child nutrition for the district as Administrative Assistant for Secondary Education and Child Nutrition. Derico was excited to return his sole focus to child nutrition in his new position with Barbour County Schools earlier this month. 

As a member of the West Virginia SNA affiliate, Derico volunteered as Legislative Chair, Section Chair and served two terms as state president. At the national level, he served on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Finance, Professional Development and Public Policy and Legislation Committees. 

Derico earned his bachelor’s degree at Glenville State College and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from West Virginia University. He credits many of his leadership and communications skills to his side career as a high school basketball referee and NCAA basketball official. 

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 50,000 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 www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.    

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