May 09. 2013 10:20PM

Nashua finds its next food services director

Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA - With an eye toward maintaining what he calls an excellent program, Superintendent Mark Conrad will recommend to the Board of Education next week that Amy Cassidy of the Hollis-Brookline School District replace the retiring Jeanette Kimbell as food services director.

Conrad said he was looking for someone to continue the tradition and work already established by Kimbell. In Cassidy, who is a registered dietician, Conrad said he has found that person.

"The food service program is really unique. You have to be able to serve a lot of meals that are both nutritious and low cost. That can be a difficult process - some understand cost but not nutrition. I think Jeanette was able to understand both, and the new director will be able to do that as well," Conrad said.

With thousands of meals served each day, Conrad said, the food service program is a significant operation and a large responsibility, a responsibility Cassidy said she is eager for.

"I am looking forward to moving over to Nashua. It's a big job, but I can't wait to start. It's a great program with a great team of people. (Kimbell) has worked so hard to have such a successful program, and I am proud to be chosen as the candidate to take it over," Cassidy said.

Conrad said Cassidy's starting salary will be $74,200, or about $5,000 less than Kimbell's salary. Cassidy has worked in the Hollis-Brookline School District since 2005, and while she said she is sad to leave, Nashua represented too good of an opportunity.

"It's growth. It's the next step up for me and what I do. As a registered dietician, it is nice to have a place to really give that knowledge to students, who, hopefully, will appreciate it," Cassidy said.

Board member Steven Haas said the Human Resources Committee, which he chairs, was pleased with Cassidy's selection.

"She comes to us with experience. She has a strong background in nutrition. She is the overall package with experience and understanding," Haas said.

Through the years, Conrad said, the food program's quality and choices have increased while remaining financially self-sufficient.

"We have every expectation that we will work on that basis in the future," he said.