Julie Telesca -SNA SW Region Director of the Year

(National Harbor, MD, May 1, 2018) – The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has named Julie Telesca, SNS, Director of Nutrition Services for Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, TX, the Southwest regional Director of the Year. The award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of school nutrition directors who manage effective school meal programs providing healthy, appetizing meals to students.

Over her 23-year tenure, Julie Telesca has dedicated her time and energy into growing student participation in school meals by preparing and presenting nutritious meals with eye appeal. She created and used the latest in nutritional marketing materials and fostered the professional growth of her staff. Telesca’s development of a cafeteria manager trainee program helps the district identify talented candidates, eager for advancement and guide them on a path to promotion. She has helped better prepare staff members for their jobs and reduced the turnover rate.

She  participates in a back to school fair in which nutrition services employees volunteer time to assist families with the free and reduced price meal application process and provides nutrition education and a healthy breakfast to the participants and volunteers during the fair. Whether assisting the district in receiving multiple grant awards, or working with local produce companies to provide locally grown ingredients for her school menus, Telesca is a big proponent of nutrition education in the cafeteria and beyond. Each year, she participates in Rachel’s Challenge, a 5K race and health and wellness fair. She helps to build a relationship with the community by providing healthy snacks and nutrition education materials promoting Grapevine-Colleyville Schools’ program. In addition, Telesca coordinates a community service event with a local charity or food bank around the holidays, collecting items and donating her services.

Telesca recently implemented “Farm Fresh Friday;” one Friday each month the district features a different regionally grown fruit or vegetable. She creates an informational calendar menu that provides nutrition education, the theme of the month and special events.

“Julie Telesca’s leadership and incredible dedication directly improve children’s nutrition, providing students with a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating,” said SNA President Lynn Harvey, EdD, RDN, SNS. “Her educational efforts and various programs ensure her students access to well-balanced meals and inspires them to make healthier choices.”

The regional 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.

In July, Telesca will be honored during the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 57,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.