RSU 18 is pleased to welcome Barbara Bonnell as the district’s new Nutrition Director. Bonnell, who stepped into the role at the end of December, brings with her a wealth of knowledge acquired during her 20-year career in food service.
Bonnell served as Nutrition Director for the City of Waterville and AOS 92 for 15 years. For the last 3 years, she has worked as Quality Control Supervisor for the City of Waterville and AOS 92, overseeing eight kitchen facilities and two satellite kitchens. Bonnell has also worked as a chef at Bedside Manor and spent time working as an executive chef and learning from culinary professionals from all over the country. Her passion, however, is child nutrition.
“There is nothing more important in a child’s day than eating a good breakfast and lunch to keep them satisfied and engaged for learning,” said Bonnell.
She is planning to move the RSU 18 menu in the direction of even more home-cooked meals and fewer prepackaged items. The February menu boasts a home-made corn chowder and some new baked pasta dishes she believes the students will enjoy. She also plans to include more protein in her breakfast menus to help students avoid the energy crash that can follow a high carb breakfast.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Bonnell, “and we’re hoping to improve participation with the changes.”
Bonnell is an Oakland resident who graduated from Messalonskee High in 1979, and she’s very excited to be back in the district.
“My grandchildren attend Oakland schools, which was the driving force for my return to the district,” said Bonnell. “I look forward to being able to serve them and all the other children every day as they move up through the grades.”