23 Heroes! While this number seems arbitrary, those chosen to win certainly were not! Yes, of course, we are all too well aware of the fact that there are hundreds, no thousands of deserving School Lunch Heroes. Started by SNA several years ago, Annual School Lunch Hero Day is celebrated May 7 this year and we wanted to honor our hardworking heroes.
We had to make some very difficult decisions and narrow down to just a few. When we started, we thought we’d have five winners from across the country; but we just could not settle. There are too many people in our industry doing too much good to go unnoticed.
So yes, of course, we would have loved to recognize more heroes, but we surely honor those in school food service who go above and beyond. We look forward to making this an annual tradition and can not wait to acknowledge more heroes next year!
See the full story in the news release we issued today highlighting just a few of the winners. Winners were selected from nominations made by E S Foods’ regional sales directors who work closely with the school districts.
Below is our complete list of winners who were recognized locally and presented with awards at their school district.
Winners by Region
Northwest Region, E S Foods National K12 Director James Redou
Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA – Aaron Smith, Director of Child Nutrition
Yakima School District, Yakima WA – Cassie Davidson, Director of Child Nutrition
Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, Kansas City, KS – Josh Mathiasmeier, Dir. of Child Nutrition
Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO – Shannon Solomon, Director of Child Nutrition
Anchorage School District, Anchorage, AK – Bob Schwarz, Logistics Supervisor
Western Region, E S Foods K12 Regional Sales Director Abbi Gardner
Southern California: Downey USD, CA – Lily Ivanov, Assistant Director of Food Services
Northern California: Fresno USD, CA – Barbara Stewart, Buyer II, Nutrition Center
Davis School District, Davis UT – Pam Tsakalos, Director, Nutrition Services
Cartwright ESD, Phoenix, Arizona – Diane Gruman, Director, Nutrition Services
Midwestern Region, E S Foods K12 Regional Sales Director Cheryl Pratt
Diocese of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA – Lynda Carville, Child Nutrition Director
Palatine CCSD #15, Palatine, IL – Kristen Voigts, Director of Child Nutrition
Shelby County Schools, Memphis TN – Shelby County CN Team, SCS Nutrition Services
Bloomington School District, Bloomington, MN – Rynetta Renford, Food Service Director
Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, IA – Amanda Miller, Director of Food & Nutrition
Eastern Region, E S Foods K12 Regional Sales Director Micah Scott
Public Schools of Robeson County, Robeson County, NC – Charlene Locklear, Director
Chesterfield County PS, Chesterfield County, VA – Tami Radcliff, Purchasing Coordinator
Framingham Public Schools, Framingham, MA – Brendan Ryan, Director
New Britain Public Schools, New Britain, CT – Jeffrey Taddeo, Resident District Manager
Southwestern Region, E S Foods K12 Regional Sales Director Ruben Pena
Gadsden Public Schools, Gadsden, NM – Maria Guerra, Director Student Nutrition
Shawnee Public Schools, Shawnee, OK – Aline Knoles, Interim Director of Student Nutrition
Pasadena ISD, Pasadena, TX – Jodie DeFrancesco, Assistant Director of Nutrition Services
Spring ISD, Houston, TX – Shelly Copeland, Director of Child Nutrition
Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD, Pharr, TX – Imelda Palacios, Director of Child Nutrition