By Julia Bauscher, SNS, SNA President 2015-05-01 11:25:35
I just received a nudge from School Nutrition editor Patty “Fitz” that my column is due. It’s early April, and she acknowledged that she knew I was grieving over my beloved Kentucky Wildcats’ loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in the annual “March Madness” college men’s basketball tournament. Oh, the pain! But I can put aside my sports-centric disappointment, because I’d rather focus on being in a state of “overwhelmedness.” (Yes, I realize that I just invented a new word.) I am overwhelmed by all of the creative efforts of both school-based members and our industry partners in continually finding innovation and improvements in all that we do in this business— despite considerable obstacles and challenges. You are all school nutrition heroes, and want you to celebrate all month long! I am overwhelmed by the support our members have expressed for the stand that SNA has taken with legislators, government officials, media and allies in acknowledging the operational challenges so many of us face and the common-sense solutions we have proposed. I am overwhelmed by the peers I’ve met and the programs I’ve visited through my many travels across this nation, as well as by my amazing team in Jefferson County. It is nothing short of overwhelming to realize the depth and breadth of the passionate dedication we all have to doing our part to ensure that every student graduates prepared to meet his or her full potential. There have been many distractions to contend with this year, but I am overwhelmed by how focused your SNA leaders on the Board of Directors have been on driving the Association forward , truly using our Strategic Plan to make difficult, but exciting, decisions and changes that are intended to ensure we remain a strong, viable leader in school nutrition education and advocacy. Similarly, I am overwhelmed by the professional, talented SNA staff team that works so hard, every day, in many ways, to help us achieve our mission. I cannot thank them enough for all they do for all of us! I could go on, because there’s still so much to accomplish before I cross that finish line in July at our Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City! It’s no wonder I am in a state of overwhelmedness! And that’s why I want to close this column by paying tribute to one person who helps keep me grounded when I am overwhelmed: my Mom. I hope that most of you have a strong and loving relationship with your mother—or good memories, if she’s no longer with you. Take this month to honor her in a special way. As author Robert Brault notes, “If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.”
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