Gary Childress, supervisor of food and nutrition for Harford County Public Schools and president of the Maryland School Nutrition Association, recently earned the President's Award of Excellence from the School Nutrition Association.
The President's Award of Excellence recognizes up to three state presidents each year who demonstrate extraordinary leadership by successfully implementing strategies that advance school nutrition programs in their states and who made the extra effort in achieving excellence in SNA's strategic goals. Strategies covered areas from legislative action, membership goals and staff professional development to community outreach.
Childress received this national honor during an awards ceremony at SNA's 71st Annual National Conference July 9-12 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. This one-of-a-kind conference united more than 6,000 attendees from school nutrition, industry and allied organizations, for an unparalleled networking and educational experience.
"This was truly a team effort, as Maryland had a great day at the opening session of the School Nutrition Association's annual convention," Childress said. "Our state had the National Employee of the Year and National Manager of the Year along with this award. We are so proud of what has been accomplished this year and are looking forward to continued success and recognition of the hardworking, dedicated school nutrition employees in Maryland. These people deserve to be acknowledged as they care deeply about the students they serve."
To provide equal opportunity for states of different sizes, the President's Award of Excellence may be awarded to one state president in each of the three member divisions: 1 to 500 member division; 501 to 1,000 member division; and 1,001-plus member division.
Childress won for the 501 to 1,000 member division.
"I am extremely proud of Mr. Childress," Harford Superintendent Barbara P. Canavan said. "He is dedicated to the students of Harford County. He provides outstanding leadership to the Office of Food and Nutrition as they strive to provide healthy meals to our children throughout the school year. Mr. Childress is undoubtedly worthy of this recognition."