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MSNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to MSNA's March member spotlight! We are excited to feature Katie Possone, Kitchen Manager at St. Michael-Albertville Schools. Read more about Katie below.

Tell us about your involvement in MSNA and how membership supported your career path.

  • As a member of MSNA for over 7 years, I have been able to acquire my certification and expand my knowledge as a Kitchen Manager by utilizing the SNA website and attending the Annual Conference!

Share some examples of how you create a welcoming culture for students in the cafeteria.

  • We know those first days of school at the beginning of the year can be a little scary for some students, so we try to ease their anxiety about heading to the cafeteria with friendly smiles and warm welcomes! We have found that our friendly greetings and genuine happiness to see them helps the students realize that lunchtime is enjoyable and memorable. I believe this sets a positive tone, making students eager to visit us throughout the school year with their own smiles and cheerful hellos! 

What special events or initiatives does your nutrition team host for students?

  • Two of our most popular events are “Apple Crunch Day” and our “Beach Day.” In our effort to expose students to more farm-to-school foods, we serve locally-grown apples for “Apple Crunch Day.” Then we bring the beach to the cafeteria for “Beach Day.” Students enjoy a beachy meal of hot dogs, chips, fresh fruit, vegetables and milk. They sit outside on their towels with music blasting to create a fun and memorable experience!

Share some ways you motivate your staff to learn and grow.

  • I have always been an advocate for cross-training! Embracing this practice molded me into the Kitchen Manager I am today. Cross-training cultivates a deep sense of mutual appreciation within the team. Which, in turn, keeps our kitchen operating seamlessly “like a well-tuned machine"!

Describe the most popular meal on your lunch menu, and what your favorite meal is.

  • Our student’s favorite meal is French Toast Day! My favorite meal is Mandarin Orange Chicken and Rice!


“She also cultivates the skills of her staff to learn and grow, so they can do everything in the kitchen and have the skills to move into a higher level position if they want.” - Glen Ritter, MSNA Vice President


*New* Professional Development Options Available 

Staying on top of your professional development? If you're looking for convenient ways to earn CEUs in the comfort of your own office/home, MSNA's new webinar series can help. We're excited to launch two webinars this April, available to members and non-members. Better yet, MSNA members can register for FREE! Non-members can register for a nominal fee. Register here!

Save the Planet, Serve More Plants

Tuesday, April 16 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM (1 CEU)

Jodi Miller Gruhn, Director, Wholesome Minnesota

Placing the POS 1st in Elementary Schools

Wednesday, April 24, 3:00 - 4:00 PM (1 CEU) 

Julie Kronabetter, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage

Karra Hartog, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage

Emily Malone, Prior Lake - Savage Area Schools


Last Chance to Share Your Knowledge at the Annual Conference!

It's your time to shine at MSNA's Annual Conference! Have you or someone you know previously delivered a captivating presentation on school nutrition? Do you have a topic you're eager to share? It's your last chance to submit your proposal and share with others who may be interested in presenting!

We're taking 2023 survey feedback to create an agenda tailored to each step of a professional's journey. Surveyed topics of interest include basics for new staff, including allergens, recipes, and food safety, and include other topics such as getting started in Farm-to-School, menu planning, spices, and self-help. Contact MSNA for the full list of topics!

Submit your session proposal by March 31!

Members in the News

March 12th

Darcy Stueber is the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)'s national CDM, CFPP of the month! Learn about her experience in school nutrition and learn what she urges young professionals to do. Darcy is the MSNA Public Policy Committee Chair and Director of School Food Service for Mankato Schools.

Read the article here.

March 18th

Jess Pena, Nutrition Director for Red Wing Schools and SNA Public Policy & Legislative Committee member, talked to the Republican Eagle about her expectations for SNA’s Legislative Action Conference. The conference was held March 3-5 in Washington D.C.

Read the article here.


March 18th

Emily Malone, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools' director of child nutrition and MSNA President-Elect, was interviewed by the Prior Lake American, discussing challenges in school nutrition, as well as her experience at the School Nutrition Association’s annual Legislative Action Conference.

Read the article here.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

March 29: School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) Scholarship Application Deadline | Apply for funding for tuition and books

March 29: School Nutrition Foundation's (SNF) Equipment Grants Application Deadline | Apply for a kitchen upgrade

March 31: Annual Conference Call for Proposals Deadline

April 16Save the Planet, Serve More Plants Webinar

April 24Placing the POS 1st in Elementary Schools Webinar

See the Full Events Calendar Here


Minnesota School Nutrition Association

1400 Van Buren St NE. #200-239

Minneapolis, MN 55413

Phone: 320-251-2344 

[email protected]

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