• Provide a multi-disciplinary team from several district departments to collaborate and coordinate on all the different aspects of implementing the central kitchen, including operating satellite kitchens.
  • Ensure that all the facility, equipment, staffing, communications, and operational aspects of opening and running a new central kitchen and satellite kitchens are considered.


Basis for Establishment: 

  • As a result of community support (from a bond and local foundations) and a national movement to healthier scratched cooked school meals, Bellingham Public Schools is moving towards a scratch cooking model to replace the current heat-and-serve model. We have committed to open the kitchen in 2019.
  • The Food Services programmatic plan is to do most of the preparation and cooking of meals from a central kitchen. The program design is reflected in the Food Services vision, Good Food Promise and the district’s health and wellness policies.


Decision-Making Process:

  • The transition team will convene and meet until the central kitchen and satellites are operational.
  • The goal is to have the central kitchen operational in fall 2018, at which point district leaders will determine when to bring the central kitchen model online and begin delivery to schools. The kitchen may be opened as a satellite kitchen replacing the Sehome kitchen.
  • The team will make recommendations, as appropriate, to the superintendent to prepare for the opening of the central kitchen.


Plan of Work: 

  • The transition team will meet at weekly with the possibility for more regular meetings as the opening of the kitchen approaches. We expect to extend beyond the opening of the central kitchen.
  • Meet 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm weekly starting November 15, 2017 through at least December 2018.





  • Simone Sangster, Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Operations, Co-chair
  • Bob Kuehl, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, Co-chair
  • Ron Cowan, Executive Director, Capital Projects and School Facilities
  • J.Marie Riche, Communications and Community Relations Representative
  • Patrick Durgan, Executive Chef/ Food Services Director
  • Jessica Sankey, Wellness Director
  • Marcy Brown, SEIU Food Services Representative
  • Sue DeJong, Secretary, Food Services
  • Sue Webber, Community Representative

The transition team may break into subgroups, as necessary.



  • Attend all meetings and work collaboratively with group members


Budget Implications:

  • Over the course of the transition team’s work, recommendations may require further superintendent approval or be operational recommendations from the group. Cost will be assessed at time of recommendations.