President's Corner

Fall 2019

Hello to all TASN members!

The Texas sun has been shining bright and I donít know about you, but I am ready for the leaves to start turning colors and the temperatures to begin getting a little cooler. As I was thinking about what I wanted to share for this article, I thought about my first week of this school year when the kids returned from summer vacation. Like some of you, my first week back did not go exactly as I had planned or even imagined. Unforeseen circumstances such as construction, staffing, or delivery issues, hit me full face that first day, but like all of you at your districts, the kiddos kept coming through the line, hungry and ready for a good meal. Many went without hot, healthy meals all summer long and had been looking forward to the meals they receive at school. I thought about the challenges that seemed to come at us from every angle and the way I handled them. Sometimes I did really well, and sometimes I completely missed the mark. Sometimes I was too soft, sometimes I spoke too sharply with staff members, and sometimes I did not clearly give my expectations so that they would know exactly what I meant. My words were important in those decision-making moments.

The power in our words carries a heavy weight. It reminds me of a story in which a mom gives her daughter a tube of toothpaste and tells her to squeeze it out onto a plate. After the teenager has done this, her mom instructs her that the next step is to put the toothpaste back into the tube. The teenager gets a bit frustrated because she cannot get the toothpaste back into the tube, and even though she manages to put back a little bit back into the tube, neither the toothpaste nor the tube will ever be the same again.

We each have the opportunity to use our words to hurt, demean, slander, and wound others. We also have the opportunity to use our words to heal, encourage, inspire, and love others. Just like the toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth you canít take them back.

I challenge each of us this year to make sure that life-giving words come out of our mouths and that we are known for our compassion and gentleness. Many people that we see every day Ė students, teachers, parents, and child nutrition staff Ė are walking in a world where they desperately need uplifting words. You will never, ever regret choosing kindness or kind words.

It is hard to believe that we have already had another TASN board meeting. It was exciting to see all the TASN committees meet and continue working on the Plan of Action. We also ended the last run of holding Industry Seminar in October! Sharon Glosson, TASN Vice President, and her Industry Planning Committee did an outstanding job and gave a lot of needed and valuable information and training to all those who attended. As the year progresses I know Michael Francis, TASN President Elect, and his Conference Planning Committee will continue to work hard to plan the 2020 TASN Annual Conference and make it the best one yet! I also want you to know that all the comments that were given in the survey regarding this past conference in Grapevine have been read and are being discussed so we may make some of the suggested changes. After all, this is a member association and as members your voice is not only heard in these surveys, but needed! Your words make a difference, and are very valuable so that we can make improvements to all areas of TASN! Remember each of you are needed. It is also time to nominate TASN board members again and there are several positions that you could fill, or maybe another TASN member you could nominate. Donít be shy! Letís fill the ballot up with nominations.

I want to thank each of your for your continued support, commitment, and involvement in all things TASN! I hope to see each of you soon, and please remember the power of your words! Thank you for helping feed the kids in our great state of TEXAS!

Melissa Bryan
Copperas Cove ISD
2019Ė2020 TASN President