By Jean Ronnei, SNS, SNA President 2015-12-30 17:14:56
Say Yes to Opportunity When I started working in school nutrition, there was no question that I wanted to be involved in SNA. I saw how the Association advocates for our profession and for the kids we serve, and that inspired me to take a chance and try for a leadership role in the organization. I ran for chair of the Minnesota Director’s Group…but I lost! If you are considering running for a state or national office, don’t let the fear of losing deter you from trying, as the benefits and growth that come from getting involved are too valuable to pass up. Nutrition Committee Chair Carol Weekly, RD, SNS, always says yes when people ask for help. After all, “You don’t know what doors will be opened to you because you agreed to help out,” she says. Despite the heavy workload and stress that Carol feels in her position as director of Child Nutrition with Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95, she stays involved in SNA. She depends on her colleagues in Arizona and around the nation for support and new ideas. “You can’t put a value the amount of knowledge you gain in a committee,” she advises. “It gives you confidence, because you know you have the knowledge to deliver the correct message.” Of course, SNA provides knowledge to those who aren’t quite ready for leadership positions, too, and simply being involved with the Association provides a wealth of benefits. There are more challenges in our school nutrition programs now than ever, and challenges are increasingly complex. Additionally, they’re being scrutinized by people who don’t understand what it takes to feed thousands of students every day in a short amount of time and with limited resources. SNA, though, provides education and support for our members to meet those challenges. Sharon Glosson, MS, RD, at North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, points her team to SNA for professional development. Going outside of the district to get training through conferences and webinars is good for her staff, not only for the information they learn, but also for the opportunity to meet other professionals and hear solutions to shared core problems. Sharon encourages the staff to get involved, continue their education and always be willing to help. Despite the stress of the job, both Carol and Sharon find their involvement with SNA to be re-energizing. If you’ve ever considered getting more involved with SNA, maybe this is the year to actually take that step. There are so many volunteer opportunities available to every member at the local, state and national level. Every leadership journey has to start somewhere, and I hope yours starts here.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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