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Congratulations to Our 2018 Award Winners!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caroline Santayana

Join us in congratulating this year's SNA Award Winners! 


Employee of the Year

Roberta Waldrip, Food Service Lead
Heathbrook Elementary, Tewksbury Public Schools  
Massachusetts School Employee of the Year
(Massachusetts and Northeast Regional winner)

Roberta is known for her creativity, empathy and compassion. She cares deeply for the students and staff and offers to attend community events, school open house, socials, etc., on her own time, without hesitation. She takes great pride and is truly dedicated to Child Nutrition.

Roberta regularly prepares treats for the teaching staff to enjoy. An avid & creative sewer she has made many items both used in cafeteria & school promotions and as prizes for the bi-weekly school assembly. She is passionate about school nutrition and continually shares resources and information to the department staff as well as recipes with school faculty. 

Roberta is always looking up different ideas on the internet and always looking for new recipes to use the product that we have in house. She has come up with many new ideas that we have tried on the menu. She uses the resources available through SNA, USDA, Child Nutrition Institute and others. She's a sharer and keeps her peers informed. 

She is very passionate about going to SNA chapter meetings, the Healthy kid Summit, SNA conferences etc. Roberta will ALWAYS implement something that she has learned from the meetings, trainings, and webinars.


Manager of the Year

Donna Miner, Cook Manager
Chicopee High School
Massachusetts School Nutrition Manager of the Year

Donna  demonstrates  outstanding leadership skills, both in her kitchen and across the district. She is the “gold standard” for the preparation and presentation of school meals. In addition to teaching knife skills and other techniques to her staff, she has also been singled out to host trainings for food service stakeholders from across the state. 

In addition to feeding 800 high schoolers a day, Donna is also responsible for feeding an on-site preschool. She not only plays a central role in developing new recipes for the district, but she goes out of her way to plate these recipes and display them on the serving line along with samples so that students can see and taste a new food before trying it.  Donna is the go-to source for the majority of catering throughout the district. She prepares (and delivers) new local menu items for the Superintendent to sample. 

Donna is very involved in promoting farm to school programs at state trainings.  She has authored several recipes in the official MA Farm to School Cookbook. Her involvement has helped to make Chicopee a leader in farm to school across the state.
Donna has been very involved with the SNA over the course of her career and she served on the SNA of Mass Board of Directors for 2 years. 


Director of the Year

Heather Baril 
North Attleboro Public Schools
Massachusetts School Nutrition Director of the Year

In her second year as School Nutrition Director in North Attleboro, Heather has brought innovation, creativity and a positive bottom line to the district. She showcases her schools on a newly redesigned  website and by developing a relationship with the local newspaper reporter and creating Twitter and Facebook feeds. In all cases, the pride, talent, and enthusiasm with which she does her job is apparent.

She is very active in her schools. Heather  regularly attends PTO meetings to gather parent feedback.  She started a “Harvest of the Month” club where each month teachers who signed up receive boxes at their classrooms filled with a different local fruit/vegetable. After interviewing High School students in person in the cafeteria, she learned that a lot of them were interested in vegetarian options.  She implemented “Meatless Monday” and brought in two local chefs to show the students and staff how to prepare delicious, vegetarian meals. 

Heather works  with the School Nurses and the Health Teachers to promote healthy eating and the importance that nutrition plays in a healthy lifestyle.  As a Registered Dietitian she presents to students in their Health classes.  They all worked collaboratively to apply for and receive several grants which have let her purchase a smoothie machine, a hydroponic tower garden, and a café point-of-sale display.

Heather implemented a program called “Chefs Move to Schools” in which she invited several local chefs and Culinary Arts students from the local vocational high school to prepare meals and meal samples at all levels (elementary, middle, and high school).  Students got to learn about healthy meal preparation.  The vocational students received real world experience in creating meals on a larger scale.

In wanting to involve the Senior community with the schools, she worked with the Director of the Council on Aging to provide meals to the Senior Center once a month.  This is a great way for the Seniors to get a taste of what’s happening in our schools and see how different it is from when they were in school.  It also gives them a connection to the schools, especially if they don’t have family members in our schools.  The Seniors were so excited that the first lunch made the front page of their Senior newsletter!

Heather has been a member of SNA since 2011 and is School Nutrition Specialist credentialed.  She has been on the SNA Legislative Committee representing the SNA at the Statehouse, and has also been an SNA Chapter Delegate.  Heather and her husband Jeremy are the proud parents of their daughter Haley.



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