SNA Press Releases

SNA Recognizes Three Professionals for Accomplishments in School Nutrition at ANC 2007

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Contact: Erik Peterson
703-739-3900 ext. 124


SNA Recognizes Three Professionals for Accomplishments in School Nutrition

CHICAGO (July 16, 2007) – The School Nutrition Association recognized three of its own today at the 61st Annual National Conference, in Chicago, Ill.  In addition to state award winners, three SNA members received national recognition on Sunday, July 15, 2007 for their superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena.

National Louise Sublette Award of Excellence was awarded to Penny Verhoff, cafeteria manager at Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Verhoff was recognized for increasing breakfast participation from an average of 152 students in February 2006 to over 200 students in January 2007.  She conducted a survey of students to determine what students needed or wanted in the breakfast program and then implemented their changes on the school breakfast menus.  Verhoff then promoted the importance of eating a healthy breakfast by passing out pamphlets and flyers to students with nutrition information, giving away fresh fruit at the school health fair, and providing students with a tour of the cafeteria kitchen.  Verhoff also held a contest to increase awareness of the program, awarding one classroom a month with “breakfast in the classroom.” 

National Outstanding Director of the Year is Geri Dee, School Foodservice Director for Hacienda LaPuente Unified School District in City of Industry, California.  An SNA member for over 30 years, Dee has continually put the needs of her students in the forefront.  She established School Breakfast Programs in all district schools after hearing reports of students not eating breakfast.  Dee worked with the district administrator to bring the Child Care Program in the Food Services department to ensure that children were receiving nutritious meals.  Using student input for food choices, Dee increased meal participation to 90% and added healthier, more nutritious items to school menus. In 14 years, Dee has seen the foodservices department fund balance grow significantly, despite constant enrollment and free/reduced percentages. An energetic leader, Dee created a commodity-processing co-op with neighboring school districts to help reduce food costs and better utilize commodities. 

National Heart of the Program went to Terry White, a foodservice employee at Midway Elementary School in Joint School District #251 in Rigby, Idaho. Employed for over 23 years, Terry is known through out her school for her creativity and her caring attitude.  Terry knows the name of every student in her school and works very closely with teachers, principal, and staff.  A member of the district Wellness Committee, Terry played an integral role in helping draft her school district’s local school wellness policy.  White worked in conjunction with other school foodservice employees at her school to encourage students to drink more milk and eat healthier foods.  She and her colleagues gave presentations to each classroom on how healthy foods help make healthy bodies and she decorated the cafeteria with life sized wooden cows.  White is very active in her community, receiving the “Distinguished Service Award” from her school district.

The SNA Annual National Conference, July 15-18, 2007, features over 6,000 child nutrition and school foodservice industry professionals participating in over 100 workshops, the school nutrition industry’s largest exhibit hall and guest speakers including former White House chef Walter Scheib.

SNA ( is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.


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