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Patrick Durgan Selected as Food Services Leader

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear Families and Community,

We appreciate the daily work of our dedicated Food Services staff to feed and nourish our students throughout the past year as we’ve introduced Breakfast in the Classroom at our Title I elementary schools and are providing a new menu for our students. We are working to transform our Food Services program into the vision that we collectively built with our community last year: We encourage a lifetime of healthy eating by serving students nourishing, delicious, whole foods in a welcoming environment.

We are excited to welcome Patrick Durgan to lead our Food Services program as Executive Chef and Director of Food Services of Bellingham Public Schools. Patrick will work in collaboration with Mark Dalton, Heidi Rodriguez and Jessica Sankey and our Food Services staff to implement our new Food Services vision; provide training and support in our kitchens for our staff; and continue to improve our program in preparation for our central kitchen. He will start with Bellingham Public Schools after winter break.

Patrick was selected after an extensive interview process that included representatives from Food Services staff, a teacher, a local chef, a principal and district staff. A special thank you goes to the Whatcom Community Foundation for partnering with us to fund this position.

Patrick has a depth of kitchen experience and will provide leadership as well as on-the-ground support to Food Services staff.

He is currently the campus executive chef at Western Washington University, where he has been working since 2011. In his position at Western, he provides oversight of all food safety and production across campus while building and maintaining positive relationships with staff and community members. He will lead our Food Services team in pursuing a Farm-to-Cafeteria model in our schools by building connections with local farmers and restaurants. Previously, Patrick worked as executive chef at Portland State University and for the Oregon Convention Center, starting as a lead cook and ultimately overseeing all ordering, scheduling and production. He has many professional certifications and graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu chef program in Portland.

Patrick is familiar with our school meal programs as an active Farm-to-School and Harvest of the Month volunteer. He also has two children in our schools and takes a student-centered approach in his work. Patrick is enthusiastic to use his expertise to bring our vision of encouraging a lifetime of healthy eating by serving students nourishing, delicious, whole foods.

Please join me in welcoming Patrick to Bellingham Public Schools!

Greg