(814) 226-8330
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Becky Kammerdeiner is in a unique position. Actually, it’s two positions: she is the food service director for two school districts. Becky has been in charge of foodservice for the Clarion Area School District since 1995, and in 2002 she added the Brookville Area School District’s foodservice department to her responsibilities.

When Becky began her career, she was able to rely on her kitchen supervisor and secretary to help her learn about the required paperwork. She learned about other aspects of the profession by reading, asking questions, and joining Pittsburgh Regional Food Service Directors (PRFSD), where she had the opportunity to acquire much knowledge through networking with other directors.

Becky feels well-prepared to guide new directors as they begin their own careers. She believes that concurrently operating the school meals program for two districts has provided her with a lot of insight about what works and what doesn’t. She explains how her years of PRFSD membership have also taught her valuable lessons, and she’s had the opportunity to lead others in the profession: “I have been a member of PRFSD for the past 15 years and am currently Vice-President of the organization. Additionally, I have served on the Executive Bid Committee for the past four years and have become knowledgeable in the food and supply bid process.” As a mentor, Becky also should be able to help new directors who want to use the NuMenus meal planning system. She employs it at both districts now, and she has been using it since she began her career.

Becky thinks that the mentoring program will not only directly benefit new directors, but it will also “help to advance the professionalism of child nutrition programs.” She reminds us why the mentor program for new directors was developed: “There is only one of us in each school district, so we don’t have any peers within our district to bounce ideas off of or to ask questions, whether they are simple or complex.” She has done a good bit of question-answering already: she frequently takes calls from her peers “with questions on a multitude of subjects including NuMenus, CRE/SMI reviews, commodity allocations marketing, etc.” Becky has learned that many of these calls are the result of referrals by sales representatives and other directors who know she will be able to help the callers, so it is understandable that she was also recommended to be a Project PA mentor.

Becky wants to tell new directors that they can get help from successful directors who were all beginners at one time, themselves: “There is a wealth of experience and professionalism among school foodservice directors, and at one time or another we were in the same situation; being ‘the new kids on the block.’ Much of our knowledge has been garnered from others in our field. I think you would be hard-pressed to find directors who are not willing to share their knowledge.”