School Nutrition Employee Week A Serving of Thanks Between working hard to understand and meet new nutrition standards, encouraging students to try unfamiliar new foods and finding creative new ways to meet ongoing cafeteria challenges, it’s likely that your school nutrition team could benefit from a springtime boost. Help raise morale while showing them how much you appreciate all that they do by celebrating School Nutrition Employee Week (SNEW), May 7-11, 2012. While every day is an occasion to recognize the hard work and positive attitude demonstrated by your employees, SNA has designated this weeklong event as an opportunity for you to make an extra special effort to do so. SNEW also is an ideal time to remind students, parents, teachers and school administrators that school nutrition employees make valuable contributions year round to provide children with healthy and tasty meals. This year’s SNEW theme is “Serving Up Excellence,” and you know better than anyone else the excellent service your team provides! Log on to SNA’s website, www.schoolnutrition.org/snew, to find an array of ideas—from simple to elaborate—for showing your recognition of these important individuals. Don’t forget to pick up some tokens of appreciation from the SNA Emporium; visit http:// emporium.schoolnutrition.org or call (800) 728-0728. Serve up a memorable SNEW for the team that makes possible your operation’s work to nourish children! Certification Take Your Career to the Next Level If you’re reading this magazine, you already know that school nutrition is far more than just a “job.” You know that it’s a dynamic and progressive profession, with as many opportunities for creativity, challenge and growth as you want to seize. There is a career ladder within school nutrition— indeed, many of today’s national Association leaders and spokespersons started in part-time positions in their local cafeterias. But it’s up to you to make the choice to climb those steps and to take advantage of the many resources available to help you grow as a school nutrition professional. One of those resources is SNA’s Certification and Credentialing Program. There are three levels of SNA Certification, and one of these is right for you. Are you certified? Are you certified at the right level for your current job responsibilities? Did you know that by reaching to become certified at the next level, it will help you to take on greater responsibilities and open the door to other job opportunities? Renee Miles is the foodservice supervisor for Toppenish School District in Washington. “SNA Certification has helped me advance in my career from cook to head cook to foodservice supervisor. … I would not be where I am today, if I was not certified,” credits Miles, who holds Level 3 Certification and encourages all of the cooks in her district to earn their certification. These are challenging—and exciting—days in school nutrition. The new meal pattern regulations (as well as other rules that are expected to be released in the coming months) plus ongoing national attention on school meals and child health plus the economic challenges faced by schools and individual families will require everyone involved in school meals to be at the top of their game. SNA Certification can help to prepare you to meet these challenges. In upcoming issues, School Nutrition will describe the specific benefits of certification and credentialing, as well as demonstrate how you can meet the program requirements—easily and inexpensively—and point out resources to take the next step. In the interim, you can start checking these out on your own. Visit www. schoolnutrition.org/nextlevel to explore the basics.
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