Child Nutrition Programs director retires after 26 years with SDE; successor named

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Dr. Colleen Fillmore, who has overseen nutritious meals packages for 2 generations of Idaho schoolchildren, will retire Tuesday, Feb. 15.

“Colleen has been an ideal associate in our shared mission to help colleges and college students to attain,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra stated. “I thank her for her a few years of tireless service, and for her compassion, dedication, grace and good humor.”

Fillmore joined the State Department of Education within the National School Lunch Program April 30, 1996, and was named director of Child Nutrition Programs in October 2004. She had already served underneath three superintendents of public instruction earlier than Superintendent Ybarra was elected in 2014.

“During her time with the division the breadth of college diet packages, and the necessity for them, has grown regularly,” Superintendent Ybarra stated. “Federal rules have turn into way more complicated, and reimbursements to varsities have grown from $28 million in fiscal 1996 to $122 million final fiscal yr. Through all of it, Colleen has supplied sturdy management and help to districts.”

“Helping districts and constitution colleges navigate the thicket of rules and functions has been particularly difficult and necessary throughout this long-running pandemic,” the superintendent stated.  “And sustaining constant, nourishing meal packages throughout disruptions at school schedules has been an amazing problem, particularly within the spring of 2019, when COVID-19 pressured a tender closure of public colleges and most college students had been studying remotely.”

“Colleen and her staff made certain colleges and districts had most flexibility to satisfy native wants creatively, equivalent to utilizing college bus routes to ship lunch or providing grab-and-go meals households might decide up.”

Offering help to such dedicated native leaders has been one of many pleasures of main CNP, Fillmore stated.

“This job and the folks in baby diet providers all through Idaho have introduced a deep sense of objective and belonging to my life,” Fillmore stated. “Idaho has turn into a nationwide chief in baby diet packages, and it has been an honor to be a part of that.”

“I’ve blended emotions about retiring from SDE and leaving the proficient and fantastic folks on my staff and all through the division,” she stated.  “Although I’ll miss everybody, I’m anticipating the chance to spend extra time with household biking, kayaking and strolling my furry infants.”

Superintendent Ybarra stated the transition to a brand new Child Nutrition chief will probably be eased by the truth that Fillmore’s position will probably be stuffed by Lynda Westphal, herself a veteran of greater than 21 years with the division.

Lynda Westphal

Since August 2011, Westphal has served as National School Lunch Program coordinator, the job Fillmore held earlier than she turned director.

“Colleen has been an amazing boss and mentor,” Westphal stated.  “I’ve discovered quite a bit from her throughout our 20-plus years working collectively. I want her properly within the subsequent chapter of her life, however I’ll miss her encouragement, help and steering.”

Westphal’s first day as the brand new director of Child Nutrition Programs will probably be Monday, Feb. 21.

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