Maine School Nutrition Association dishes out top director, manager awards

The Maine School Nutrition Association (MSNA) has honored RSU 13 Director of School Nutrition Charles Butler as Director of the Year and Portland Public Schools Nutrition Manager Nancy McAdam as Manager of the Year.

The Director of the Year award was created to recognize school nutrition directors who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to their school meal programs. The directors are responsible for maintaining the quality of the program through student interaction, menu planning and a commitment to serving nutritious, tasty and well-balanced school meals. Through effective oversight of all aspects of foodservice operations, including staffing, training, marketing and community outreach, school nutrition directors ensure the overall success of school meal programs.

Butler is better serving his students with his implementation of the SPICES program (Students Participating in the Creation of an Exceptional School lunch). Initially promoted for his middle school and now endorsed throughout his district, this program is designed to interact directly with students for the purpose of adapting school lunch to the student’s needs and preferences. It also provides education and resources for students to understand National School Lunch Program regulations and best practices. Through Butler’s hard work, RSU 13 secured the Harvard Pilgrim Grant through 5210. He uses ingredients that are colorful and professionally presented to empower students to taste new foods.

“School nutrition directors are responsible for planning well-balanced meals that appeal to student tastes, while facing the challenges of tight budgets and complex nutrition and food safety standards,” said Betty Hayes, president of MSNA. “Charles’s superior accomplishments in the school nutrition arena illustrate his exceptional leadership and tremendous dedication to RSU13 students.”

The Manager of the Year award is in honor of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition in her state and in the national School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, Sublette worked in many areas of foodservice — public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Sublette dedicated her career to honoring school nutrition professionals and ensuring those who work in school cafeterias have access to professional development opportunities, empowering them to help their school meal programs flourish.

Manager of the Year winner McAdam has 22 years of service to the Portland Public Schools, starting out as a new mother working in the café for two hours a day. In 2000 she became the Nutrition Manager of Portland Public Schools, a position she has held since. McAdam identifies one of her greatest accomplishments as transitioning from manual data entry meal sales to point of service sales. This ensured the privacy of student eligibility and fostered a greater level of trust between students and the nutrition department. Her other great accomplishment was implementing offer verses serve to increase participation and customer satisfaction.

“Dedicated cafeteria managers work tirelessly to implement projects and support initiatives to ensure students have access to healthy meals and to improve their dining experience,” said MSNA President Hayes. “Nancy McAdam exemplifies excellence in school foodservice, going above and beyond to enhance the Portland Public Schools community.”

The two winners will be honored in August at the MSNA annual conference in Bangor. As Maine’s representative, Butler will also be considered for the national School Nutrition Association’s Director of the Year Award and McAdam will be in the running for the national School Nutrition Association’s Manager of the Year Award.

For more information about the Maine School Nutrition Association, visit http://mainesfsa.org/.