By Roxanne 2015-02-25 01:51:47
Help Along the Journey Her name was Bev. I met her at the first block party we attended when we moved 25 years ago to White Bear Lake, Minn. I told her I was a stay-at-home mom with our two children, ages 3 and 5. She said she had been a lunch lady for almost 30 years, and suggested I sign up to be a sub when my youngest got into school. It was the perfect job, she said, for reasons most of you already know—same schedule as the kids, summers off and it was fun! Four years later, right on schedule, I applied and started working at Willow Lane Elementary. It seemed it would be a good part-time job for a mom with young kids, but as I found out, it was so much more! Her name was Connie. She was my first “boss,” but she always treated me as a co-worker, teammate and friend. She encouraged me to attend our local school nutrition association chapter meetings. She made sure we, as the cafeteria team, included ourselves in all school staff activities. From Connie, I learned that building a bond with a principal, teachers, support staff and custodians is important as the relationships formed with our students. Three years later, she moved and I was promoted to manager. Her name was Judy. She was the director of foodservices who hired me, encouraged me and helped me with challenging issues. She believed that I was capable of being a chapter president, and encouraged me to take on the position. It opened a whole new world. I attended my first state conference, which included a leadership seminar. I learned so much at that one event, met so many wonderful people and formed friendships that last to this day. Judy asked us to volunteer at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in 2002, when it was held in Minneapolis. It was my first national conference—and I was hooked! I have attended nine ANCs since—many times sharing a hotel room with up to five girls in order to cut expenses—and have had such fun and made so many memories. When invited to join the Minnesota SNA Board as member services chair three years ago, I had no hesitation—yes! And, when SNA President Julia Bauscher called with an “opportunity” to fill the vacancy for the Employee/Manager Representative, I did not have to think about it twice—yes! Bev, Connie and Judy held my hand and started leading me on my path as a school nutrition employee, manager, chapter president, state Board member and now national Board member. I encourage all of you to step out of your box and grow with SNA. If I can do it, you can, too! NSBW 2015 Reports and Photos Wanted! Did your team make straight As when it came to celebrating National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) 2015? Did your efforts to get a pass or fail from the students? Did the staff come up with ideas that earned an “E for Excellent”? Send us your photos, along with a short report. You could see your festivities in the November issue of SN! Send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos must be high-resolution and standard size. Submission of photos grants permission to use the images in the magazine and/or other SNA material. Say Thank You! School Nutrition Employee Week You might be wrapped up in NSBW right now, but don’t forget that School Nutrition Employee Week (SNEW) is just around the corner: May 4-8, 2015. It follows a celebration of School Lunch Hero Day, Friday, May 1, 2015. Honor your hardworking staff with special announcements on social media, in newsletters or on bulletins, and visit SNA’s Emporium at http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org for T-shirts, aprons and other gifts and prizes for the team. Get more ideas on how to honor your colleagues by visiting www.schoolnutrition.org/SNEW. SNF Scholarships Enter Now to Win! The School Nutrition Foundation is accepting applications for SNF Education Scholarships, which assist SNA members with SY 2015-16 funding for tuition and books to pursue a degree in a school foodservice-related program of study at a vocational/ technical, undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate level. Applications are due by April 6, 2015, and must be submitted via the online SNA Common Application form, found at http://schoolnutrition.org/EducationScholarships. For details, contact email@example.com.
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