MASSENA — One month away from the start of the 2022-23 school year, the Massena Central School District is looking for a full-time food services director.
At a special meeting this week, school board members accepted Amanda Miller’s resignation, effective July 29.
This is the first time in several years that the district has not contracted with the St. Lawrence-Lewis Cooperative Educational Services Board for a shared food service director.
“For 10 years, the district has contracted with the BOCES Saint-Laurent-Lewis for the director of food services. BOCES has reached out to many school districts to provide consistent service and we have enjoyed their service,” said Superintendent Patrick H. Brady.
However, he said, BOCES is struggling to locate food service managers in service districts. Peter Bertrand had served as Massena’s food services manager four days a week, but retired in August. School board members approved the hiring of a full-time food services director rather than staying with the BOCES program, which will provide shared services to 19 districts next year.
“Before that, we had a director four days a week and he was shared with another district. In this time of labor shortage, they were having difficulty finding food service directors, especially those who could provide us with enough service days on weekdays for a large school district like Masséna. Due to the shortage, they were looking to go back to three days. We thought it wasn’t going to meet our needs and we were going to try and find our own food services manager,” Brady said.
He said the position is a public service role.
“We went to the civil service slate and exhausted the civil service slate, which means we couldn’t find a candidate from that slate who could fill the job,” he said.
They did, however, interview a few candidates, including Ms. Miller.
“One was originally named but now had to step back,” Mr Brady said. “We are looking at other options at the moment with our Food Services Manager position. We will hopefully consider making an appointment here in the near future.
The school board took action on 33 total staff recommendations this week, including appointments, additional assignments, resignations and replacements.
“We had a lot of retirements this year, including this one, the director of special education and the director of curriculum. It has been a process, but I am very pleased with the candidates we have hired so far for the position of Director of Special Services, Director of Curriculum, two Principals and many teachers. Now we need to consolidate the Food Services Manager,” Brady said.