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Anne Sheehan Wins Outstanding Director of the Year

Photo of staff and students

June 9, 2014 — The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association has awarded GFSD Food Service Director Anne Sheehan the Northeast regional Outstanding Director of the Year Award, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions of school nutrition directors who manage effective school meal programs with healthy, appetizing student meals.

“Anne has excelled in her ability to rise to complex nutrition and food safety standards, and shows tremendous dedication to students,” said Sandra Ford, SNS, President of the School Nutrition Association (SNA). “Anne is deeply committed to what she does,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins. “Her rapport with students is incredible—she involves them with taste-tests, and modifies healthier recipes so the kids enjoy their meals. She is such an asset to our team.”

Creating long-lasting relationships with both students and staff has helped to shape the program, as many students and alumni still rave about Ms. Sheehan’s famous chocolate chip cookies—a recipe that is also getting a makeover this fall due to changing federal nutrition regulations.

“I think my favorite recipe is cream of potato and ham soup,” Ms. Sheehan says. “But I love making a salad with spring mix, dried cherries, nuts, sliced apples and balsamic dressing.”

Ms. Sheehan was one of the very first School Nutrition and Foodservice Specialists in the state of New York, earning her certification in 1994, and credentialing in 1999. Her degree in Food Service Administration includes concentrations in both Business and Nutrition—which she calls an “odd” combination that definitely works.

She is a master instructor for the New York State Education Department, training other food service directors. She has also attended the state and national Legislative Action Conference to educate legislators on the importance of school meals. She has been on the SNA State Executive Board, serving many different roles over the years, served on the board for Warren County Head Start, and been a member of SNA’s Education Committee.

“A true leader by example, her idea behind school involvement is what makes her a truly inspiring leader within the district, and community,” reads the national announcement of Ms. Sheehan’s award. She is regularly involved with each school, attending building activities and holding BBQ days in the fall and spring in which she participates. Ms. Sheehan has previously won the Founders Day award from the PTAs, and had a school day named after her.

The regional Outstanding 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 budgeting, staffing, training, marketing and community outreach, school nutrition directors ensure the overall success of school meal programs.

Ms. Sheehan will be honored in July at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Boston, MA.