LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire Saranac Lake's school food service director on a part-time basis.
Ruth Pino will now work as a shared food service consultant between the two school districts. It's the first official step they've taken to share services since a series of meetings earlier this year looked at ways to save money by merging staff and operations.
"This is a great opportunity to have a registered dietitian helping to develop the menus," Lake Placid school board member Patti Gallagher said. "The menus that she had developed for Saranac Lake were ahead of what the state was requiring. She has been ahead of the curve for the nutritional requirements. Having that expertise is, in my opinion, going to benefit the students."
Leonard Sauers, the district's business manager, said Pino will help develop menus for the two cafeterias. He said Lake Placid will pay Saranac Lake for Pino's services.
Lake Placid's appointment of Pino is effective as of this month, and it will last until June 30, 2013. She would have to be reappointed next year for the 2013-14 school year. Pino's pay for the remainder of this school year will be pro-rated. In the future, Lake Placid will pay $9,000 of her total salary.
Pino will be responsible for reporting to the federal government regarding both districts' compliance with new nutritional guidelines. School districts that comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations receive a 6-cents-per-meal reimbursement.
Holly Kostoss of Lake Placid was excited about Pino's appointment. Kostoss, a member of the district's Nutrition Committee, said parents are ready to help fundraise for other nutritional initiatives.
The two districts have also explored sharing transportation, business and instructional services.
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.