Category Archives: Awards

Tasting the Future

On a gloomy Tuesday afternoon, elementary students from San José Unified fired up the kitchen at Gunderson High School for the annual Future Chefs live cooking competition, and the results were nothing short of delicious.
Future Chefs is a national initiative from our nutrition partners at Sodexo. Now in its eighth year, it’s designed to inspire kids to make healthy eating choices and develop their cooking skills. The theme for this year’s competition is Healthy Asian Fusion.
Hundreds of our students submitted recipes, and nine were selected to participate in the live districtwide finals on March 20th. Working with seasoned professionals from our student nutrition staff, finalists had one hour to prepare their creations, which were rated for their creativity, taste, ease of preparation, use of healthy ingredients, kid friendliness, and presentation.
A panel of celebrity judges, including administrators and principals from San José Unified, had the lucky distinction of sampling all of the dishes, and after a quick tally, here are the results:
  • 1st Place – Kate Routon, 4th Grade, Willow Glen, Asian Chicken Wonton Tacos
  • 2nd Place – Aashna Raval, 4th Grade, Simonds, Thaiquito
  • 3rd Place – Chyaniss Pate, 5th Grade, Olinder, Pork Fried “Rice”
  • 4th Place – Brianna Cavano, 4th Grade, Los Alamitos, Fantastic Fried Rice
  • 4th Place – Cristian Santos, 3rd Grade, Grant, Ginger Noodle Soup
  • 4th Place – Ellie Luke, 3rd Grade, Booksin, Korean Short Rib Quesadilla
  • 4th Place – Gracie Gsoell, 4th Grade, Almaden, Gracie’s Cashew Chicken
  • 4th Place – Isabella Jones, 3rd Grade, Booksin, Thai Rice Noodle Salad
  • 4th Place – Natalie Malak, 4th Grade, Los Alamitos, Too Cool Teriyaki Tacos
Congratulations to Kate and all of the finalists for a job well done. Kate will be considered along with the winning students from other participating school districts for a regional finalist award. Selected regional finalists will compete to become the national champion in an online vote, so get your thumbs and clicker fingers ready!
Future Chefs is just one example of how our Student Nutrition team makes eating right fun and engaging for kids. Every day, they serve more than 17,000 healthy meals in our 41 schools, ensuring that students go to class ready to learn. If you’d like to learn more, visit
Tasting the future

Please join us at the annual San Jose Unified Council of PTAS Luncheon

Please join us at the annual San Jose Unified Council of PTAS Luncheon

We will be honoring PTA members from the San Jose Unified School District who have done so much to benefit our students

The luncheon will be held on April 22, 2016 at the Loft Bar and Bistro. Located in downtown San Jose from 11 am to 1 pm. The cost is $25 per person. Please RSVP Mary Ruiz by April 8, 2016. Checks must accompany the reservation. Please fill out the form and make checks payable to San Jose Council of PTAs. Mail to: San Jose Council PTA, c/o Mary Ruiz 4226 Meg Drive, San Jose, CA 95136.

Questions:  (408) 674-6094 or


Spotlight Awards Help PTAs Share Special Programs

PTA leaders bring innovative services to our kids and schools each and every day, and the California State PTA Spotlight Awards are here to help recognize and share special programs.

PTA units can apply for awards for Leadership Development, Student Achievement, Environment, Family Involvement, Membership and Outreach, Collaboration, Advocacy and Student Involvement. And don’t forget: There are also special awards for PTA councils!

Units recognized with Spotlight Awards receive two paid registrations to our annual convention, a $100 gift certificate for use at the convention PTA Store and the opportunity to spread the word about their programs at a convention workshop.

Applications are due February 1. And to make it even easier to apply, your unit can submit an application for any or all of these award categories on a single application form. For more information on these unique recognitions, please contact the California State PTA Spotlight Award Committee Chairman at