School Nutrition Association names its 2024 national award winners

The winners have been announced just ahead of School Lunch Hero Day.
Students having lunch at school
The School Nutrition Association has announced its 2024 national award winners. | Photo: Shutterstock

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has announced its 2024 national school nutrition award winners just ahead of School Lunch Hero Day which takes place Friday, May 3.  

Here’s a look at this year’s winners and their accomplishments.

Employee of the year award

Shenna Morrison
Production Manager Assistant
North Harford High School
Pylesville, Maryland

Morrison is known for her calm and collected manner in the kitchen and her ability to help her team navigate stressful situations such as when the power went out in the kitchen during Thanksgiving meal service.  

Keeping menus interesting for students is a priority for Morrison. Over the years, she has worked with her peers to introduce weekly themed menus, including Italian, Asian delights, grill specialties and a student-favorite deli line. In addition, she invites students from the district’s Food and Consumer Science classes to get a behind the scenes look at the school kitchen and learn about meal prep, cooking and teamwork.

Manager of the year award

Vivian Crespo
Cafeteria Manager
Israel Putnam Elementary
Meriden, Connecticut

According to school administrators, Crespo is noted for her outstanding customer service and knows all the students in her school by name. She puts effort into holidays and celebrations and strives to make the cafeteria and kitchen an inviting place. One of Crespo’s most notable contributions to the nutrition department has been reinventing and expanding its summer food program.

She has also acted as a supervisor to both FoodCorps and AmeriCorps service members working in her kitchen. Staff can count on Crespo to provide advice for both their professional and personal lives. Her ability to connect with different people has allowed the district to form mutually beneficial relationships with various organizations.

Director of the year award

Eric Span
Director of Nutrition Services
Sweetwater Union High School District
Chula Vista, California

Span has revamped menus to include scratch-made meals made with higher quality ingredients. He has provided training for staff to learn knife skills, grill usage, culinary procedures and other skills needed to prepare meals from scratch.

Parents and students are invited to take an active role in shaping the nutrition program. Students can join an advisory board to share their feedback and present ideas to the nutrition team, while parents are invited to visit the cafeterias, try menu items and participate in annual back-to-school nights which provide information on meals, benefit applications and nutrition regulations.

In addition, Span has also developed a successful farm-to-school program. He partnered with an engineering program at one of the high schools to bring 400 chickens to campus. The nutrition team now uses fresh eggs in a variety of dishes, including protein boxes and Pho noodle bowls. The excess eggs are sold to teachers and other members of the community to raise funds for the farm-to-school program. Recently, the program expanded to include fruit trees on campuses that students and staff can pick from.



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