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Posted October 4, 2012

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APS Cafeteria Manager Receives School Nutrition Association Regional Award

Connie McConahy recognized for increase in breakfast participation.

The School Nutrition Association has recognized Connie McConahy with its Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence in School Nutrition for the western region. McConahy has served as cafeteria manager at Montezuma Elementary for the past five years. 

McConahy’s earned the award based on steps she took to increase student participation in Montezuma’s breakfast program by 55 percent in a school where 75 percent of students qualify for the free and reduced-price meals. She and her principal Deb Detorie got a NO KID HUNGRY Share Our Strength grant to provide more breakfasts as part of the Breakfast in the Classroom program. 

The grant also allowed McConahy to create interest in school breakfast through several promotions. These included the Breakfast Club, a district-wide initiative in which students are eligible for prizes based on the number of times they eat breakfast at school. 

McConahy created the Breakfast Buzz, a contest in which students are asked to identify fruits and vegetables shown on a large poster and learn the characteristics and nutrients of a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which they may not be familiar with. She also invites two students to eat lunch with her each day to talk about meal programs, encourage them to try new foods and answer their questions. 

The School Nutrition Association honors school nutrition professionals with the Louise Sublette Award of Excellence, which is considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. It’s named in memory of a leader in school nutrition programs in Tennessee and in SNA during her 43-year career. Regional winners receive a plaque, $100 and a complimentary registration for the organization’s annual conference.

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