School Lunch Hero Day Celebrates National Award Winners

What better way to celebrate school lunch heroes than by recognizing national winners of Director, Manager and Employee of the Year?  The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) teamed up with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, and Random House Children’s Books, to celebrate all of America’s school nutrition professionals through School Lunch Hero Day, May 5.

Chosen from the thousands of everyday heroes working in school cafeterias – pared down from state and then regional award winners – SNA recognizes Mark Bordeau of New York as the National Director of the Year, Treasa Markle of Maryland as the National Manager of the Year and Vicky Lafferty of Maryland as the National Employee of the Year. These three national winners are recognized as experts in their districts, regions and throughout the entire country. With pride and confidence, they are committed to the success of their school meal programs.

Mark Bordeau, SNS, Senior Director of Food Service for Broome Tioga – Board of Cooperative Educational Services – New Yorkunnamed copy

Mark Bordeau has worked tirelessly for his district in creative and generous ways. In 2006, he and his team created a nationally recognized marketing brand, “Rock on Café,” which combines nutrition and education to create a fun dining experience for students. In the last three years, the team instituted the Community Eligibility Provision to four of their districts, Provision 2 breakfast to nine districts, and implemented Breakfast in the Classroom in three districts this year, with an additional four districts starting the program in 2017-18. For 16 years, he worked alongside with students, faculty, staff & administrators from Binghamton City Schools to host a Community Thanksgiving Dinner for over 3,000 people at Binghamton High School.

Treasa Markle from Ebb Valley Elementary in Carroll County Public Schools – MarylandTreasa Markle copy

Treasa Markle holds her students’ academic health to the same high standards as their nutritional health, coordinating with curriculum to promote One School One Book, State History Day, Reading Across America, Project Aces and Summer Reading Breakfast. Always the team player, Markle works closely with school staff and PTA on school events, including carnivals, Coach-Bag Bingo, Student Book Bingo, Empty Bowls Outreach, Food Drives and Paws for Ability fundraisers. The dedicated nutrition manager also strives to include the community where she can, inviting parents, central office employees, system-wide maintenance employees, local business owners and elected officials to the Student Thanksgiving Dinner. Markle invites PTA members and retired employees to return and volunteer their time in service on the big day, with a turnout of roughly 120 adults enjoying the holiday dinner. The student participation rates have doubled due to the excitement. The Food Service Program has benefitted systemically from this event and increased adult Thanksgiving participation in all schools.

Vicky Lafferty from Shiloh Middle School in Carroll County Public Schools – MarylandVicky Lafferty copy

Vicky Lafferty makes her school’s cafeteria one of the most positive and welcoming environments for her students. She greets children by name, often remembering their favorite foods as well. She takes great pride in the appearance and display of food prior to service, providing food samples for healthy new menu options to help create enthusiasm among the students. She also loves to decorate serving lines for seasons and holidays, cheering up students and staff as they choose their school meals. As cook, Lafferty will also coordinate her menu with classroom activities, like preparing orange chicken for a Chinese Day cultural event or crafting a special menu for the Baseball Opening Day Event. Through her actions, she helps to nourish her students mentally, visually and nutritionally.

On School Lunch Hero Day, May 5, students, faculty and parents across the country will show their appreciation with thanks, cards and recognition for their cafeteria staff. Visit www.SchoolLunchHeroDay.com for more information.

SNA is also announcing regional award winners this week. National, regional and state level award winners will all be honored in July during the Awards Ceremony at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Atlanta, GA.

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