Konarik wins top FAME Award

Foodservice director for Spring Independent School District to be honored at CNIC in January.

Nov. 6—Melanie Konarik, director of child nutrition for the Spring Independent School District in Houston, Texas, has been chosen as the Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year in the 24th annual Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence awards. The awards program is sponsored by Basic American Foods, Schwan’s Food Service Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc.

Konarik is being recognized for her dedication to child nutrition and to the health and well-being of the students in her district where she oversees 38 schools, a staff of more than 400 and meal service that includes 18,000 breakfasts and 26,000 lunches. Over the last 27 years, Konarik has demonstrated her dedication by her commitment to developing her staff.  She is enthusiastic about career development and volunteers her own time to train staff and members of the Texas Association of School Nutrition in certification classes. She seeks out opportunities to have members of her staff recognized for their own professional achievements on a regular basis.

In 2008, Konarik’s school district was named the first School Nutrition Association District of the Year.  Spring received this award for exceeding standard benchmarks in four areas of child nutrition: administration, communications and marketing, nutrition and nutrition education and operations. Judges cited Spring Independent School District for its innovative approaches in meeting numerous challenges.

Other FAME Award winners are: Lori Drenth, R.D., director of food and nutrition services, Hernando County School District, Brooksville, Fla., who earned the Silver Leadership Award; Amy Harkey, R.D., child nutrition assistant director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C., with the Silver Spirit Award; Dr. Robert Lewis, director of nutrition services, El Monte School District, El Monte, Calif., with the Silver Special Achievement Award; Jim Hemmen, executive chef and child nutrition services supervisor, Roosevelt School District, Phoenix, Ariz., with the Silver Rising Star Award; Gary D. Vonck, vice president, education division, KeyImpact Sales & Systems, Naperville, Ill., with the Silver Friend of Child Nutrition Award, and Frank Harris, retired child nutrition director, Norwalk (Conn.) Public Schools, who received the Gertrude Applebaum Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards will be presented Jan. 13, 2013, during the Child Nutrition Industry Conference in San Antonio, Texas.