Richmond Consolidated School food services supervisor out after 22 years

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RICHMOND — Two months after declining to renew the annual contract of food service director Tammy Jervas at Richmond Consolidated School, the Shaker Mountain School Union 70 is advertising to hire a supervisor of food services.

Jervas held the post for 22 years and received accolades for the quality of the lunch program at the K-8 school, which emphasizes local farm-to-table products whenever possible. Describing her situation as a confidential personnel issue, school officials have declined to discuss her departure.

In its job posting, Shaker Mountain School Union 70, which also includes Hancock Elementary School and the town of New Ashford, listed requirements such as an associate degree in culinary arts as well as "demonstrated success in sourcing local food service operations, including food preparation and site management computer skills, financial reporting, collaborating as part of a team, communicating effectively and managing and supervising staff and students."

Job-performance goals include leading efforts that promote a quality child nutrition program and to ensure each school child equal access to the program; work towards making the program an integral part of the education process in collaboration with teachers and staff; treating students, staff and visitors with respect, and cooperating and communicating efficiently and effectively with town, school and state personnel.

The complete posting, with additional details about responsibilities, is at rcscares.org/job-openings.

School Union Superintendent Peter Dillon has declined comment on the Jervas case, citing confidential personnel matters. Dillon also is superintendent of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District that serves Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge.

But in their first public acknowledgement of the situation, Dillon and Richmond Consolidated Principal Monica Zanin sent a message Monday afternoon to the school community and the town mailing list, seeking volunteers to serve on a search committee for a new food services director.

In the email, Dillon and Zanin stated that "as we receive applications, we'd like to review them and interview candidates. We hope to have a few community and staff members as well as one or more students. If we have too many volunteers, we'll select a representative group."

They also said: "We understand that this transition has been challenging and appreciate the range of feedback the community has shared so far."

Volunteers for the search advisory committee have been asked to email letters of interest by Friday to Zanin, mzanin@richmondconsolidated.org, or Dillon, pdillon@richmondconsolidated.org.

Jervas supporters are expected to turn out at Tuesday's meeting of the Richmond School Committee, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the school on State Road (Route 41).

The meeting agenda includes an executive session to discuss unspecified litigation. The open portion of the meeting begins with "public concerns."

A GoFundMe campaign to raise $4,000 to cover potential legal expenses to reinstate Jervas was created June 24 by town resident and former Richmond Consolidated parent Kim Lopez. In its first month, $3,757 had been donated by 36 individuals, including one anonymous $1,000 contribution.

According to a posting on the GoFundMe website, Lopez stated that "the students at Richmond School are amazing, working on their own fundraisers for Tammy and staging a protest at the school. Please consider helping Tammy in her time of need as she has helped us in so many ways."

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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