2018 National School Nutrition Heroes Announced

Each year, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF)  recognizes deserving school nutrition professionals as national School Nutrition Heroes. Nominated by their peers, these amazing professionals have dedicated their lives to serving the needs of school children and go above and beyond for their communities. These are theFrom Oregon to Massachusetts, the 2018 School Nutrition Heroes hail from all over the United States. Tray Talk will feature each of these deserving five professionals over the next week, showcasing why they were chosen for this prestigious recognition.

The 2018 School Nutrition Heroes are: Paula Angelucci, Child Nutrition Director, Colonial School District, New Castle (DE); Anthony Terrell, Culinary Specialist, Shelby County Schools, Memphis (TN); April Laskey, SNS, Director of School Nutrition, Billerica Public Schools, Billerica (MA); Lynne Shore, Food Service Director, Willamina School District, Willamina (OR) and Patricia Urbanczyk, Kitchen Manager, School City of Hammond, Hammond (IN).

A. Paula Angelucci, Child Nutrition Director of the Colonial School District in Delaware, exhibits the characteristics of a true School Nutrition Hero.

Paula has worked for more than 30 years to provide a healthy environment for students of the 14 schools in the Colonial School District (CSD). With her leadership, CSD won the Great American School Cooking Challenge in 2013. Colonial School District was also the first district in Delaware to be awarded the USDA HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award in 12 of the district’s 14 schools.

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Paula (right) works tirelessly to ensure all members of the community are well provided for.  Pictured with Tammy Roop (left), Operations Manager of Nutrition Services for Colonial School District, serving at the district’s annual holiday dinner for families who attend a high poverty school.

In addition to her role at CSD, Paula strives to help those in need in her community as a member of the Food Bank of Delaware Anti-Hunger Coalition. She works tirelessly to ensure that local children and families never go hungry and serves as a steering committee member of the Anti-Hunger Coalition. The Food Bank of Delaware named Paula Advocate of the Year in 2016.

Over the years, she has combined her commitment to local food banks with her dedicated work in school foodservice at CSD. Paula initiated six new school-based food banks – more than any other district in the state of Delaware. Through her efforts, CSD was one of the first districts in the state to implement mobile feeding in the Summer Food Service Program. The mobile “Colonial Care-A-Van” brings lunches to four apartment complexes and the local farmers’ market during the summer months when students are out of school.

In conjunction with Food Bank of Delaware, Paula’s nutrition services team at CSD helped assemble food boxes for community families in need, while also preparing and serving an annual holiday dinner at a district school.

A-Paula Angelucci“Paula never says no. She accepts any challenge to provide the best to the students she serves,” said Delaware Department of Education Field Agent Karen Giery. “Under Paula’s leadership, Colonial School District has one of the most robust Farm to School programs. Students at William Penn High School learn and participate in farming at the state’s historic Penn Farm. Harvested products are utilized in Colonial’s cafeterias and highlighted by the nutrition staff. Paula also plans Farm to School events each year and invites the community leaders to participate.”

She also works with a non-profit agency, Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids and has initiated 5 school gardens. Among her many accomplishments, Paula is highly regarded for the Farm to School Program, having received a USDA Farm to School Grant in 2015 and a “One in a Melon Award” for an outstanding Farm to School program in 2016.

Featured Photo Caption: Paula shows off her school garden program to Scott Schuster, RD, (left) the Outreach Specialist for Nutrition Services Colonial School District and Kenny Bounds (right), Delaware Deputy Agriculture Secretary.

“Paula’s passion, caring and dedication makes her an ideal School Nutrition Hero,” said School Nutrition Association (SNA) CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “Her leadership and creativity, both in her district and in community food programs, is admirable. Successful programs, like Farm to School, have ripple effects in these children’s lives.”

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Paula pictured with the Colonial School District nutrition services staff.

All of the 2018 Heroes will be recognized at SNF’s Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, during School Nutrition Association’s 46th Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC in March. The annual Celebration is SNF’s signature and sole fundraising event to support the Foundation’s education, research and scholarships for school nutrition professionals.

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