RUMFORD – The SAD 43 food service director will share her expertise with neighboring SAD 44 starting in the fall following action taken by the SAD 43 board Tuesday night.

“This is part of our collaboration process,” SAD 43 Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said Tuesday. “It’s the first administrative position we’ve shared with SAD 44.”

SAD 44 has agreed to pay SAD 43 $10,000 for the services of Jeanne LaPointe, the district’s food service manager for the past several years.

“We’ll try it for a year and see how it goes,” SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy said Tuesday night by telephone. “Her presence will be beneficial and give help to our kitchen managers.”

LaPointe is expected to devote the equivalent of one day a week in the Bethel district providing such services as menu planning and food commodity ordering. She will be assisting the district’s two kitchen managers.

Murphy said that although his district has two capable kitchen managers, LaPointe will provide food service expertise that the district doesn’t currently have.

During the past two years, SAD 44’s food service program has been operated by two kitchen managers with the assistance of business manager, Bruce Powell. Powell retires at the end of the current school year.

For two years prior to that, a private food service firm provided lunches for SAD 44 students.

LaPointe has visited the Bethel kitchens and representatives from Bethel visited the SAD 43 kitchens during the past few months to work out an arrangement.

Hodgkin said he is always looking for ways to work with neighboring school districts. Currently, he said SAD 43 and SAD 21 in Dixfield share an occupational therapist.

“When openings occur, we look at sharing,” he said.

In other matters on Tuesday:

• Tracey and Shannon Higley appeared before the board to thank the district for the visits and tutoring by SAD 43 staff while their son was hospitalized and recuperating after an accident.

• Hodgkin announced that the last day of school for students is June 12.

• Current school enrollment figures show 1,551 students, up from 1,548 in October.

• Mexico school board member, Randy Canwell, was appointed to represent SAD 43 on the Region 9 School of Applied Technology cooperative board to finish one year remaining in the term of Arthur Boivin.