» meet Vicky Rae Lafferty FOOD SERVICE COOK » CARROLL COUNTY (MD.) PUBLIC SCHOOLS Q You were awarded SNA’s Employee of the Year award at the 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Atlanta. How did you react? A I didn’t even know I was nominated until I won the award for Maryland SNA. I was beside myself! A few weeks later, I found out that I was the winner for the Mideast Region. I was excited, but not sure that I could make the trip to Atlanta to receive it. Then, I received a telephone call that I went all the way and am the national Employee of the Year! I was shaking, screaming and jumping up and down! I was then informed that I won an all-expenses-paid trip to Atlanta to receive my award on the Red Carpet—I’ve needed a smile-ectomy ever since! Q And this was your first ANC, right? What did you think? A It was very exciting and overwhelming! It was jam-packed with learning opportunities and the most exciting food show I have ever been to! I also loved being able to meet others just like me from other states to hear things that work and don’t work at their schools. Q What do you think led to your nomination and winning this award? A I had worked in the restaurant business for 35 years before coming to Carroll County Food Services. I’ve been a hostess, cashier, waitress, prep cook, cook, head bartender and a front of house manager. All this experience—and a strong work ethic—plus caring about those around me and going that extra mile, helped lead me to this award. Q How do you stay engaged with the students? A By actually looking at them and listening to them when they tell me things as they come through the lunch line. I never forget that they are not only students, but customers. Q What is your favorite holiday to celebrate in school during the first half of the school year? A Thanksgiving! I love decorating and preparing our spread for the Thanksgiving Day feast we host for students, parents and staff. Q Do you enjoy certain autumn traditions with your family? A In the fall, I love to attend the South Mountain Applefest in Pennsylvania and make apple butter onsite that you take home! We also go to the local produce stand and pick out pumpkins to carve with the grandchildren. Q Beyond ANC, how was your summer? A I spent time with my grandchildren, rode my motorcycle and went fishing. Also, I was blessed to see my brother from Hawaii after 27 years! It has been the best summer ever. Q What are your goals for the future? A To keep working hard and hopefully become a school cafeteria manager!
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