Betty Newman works tirelessly as the Director of Food Services for Woodland Elementary and Woodland Junior/Senior High School in AOS 90 in Baileyville. She was recently nominated for the RISE Award and selected by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) as one of Maine’s Nominees. Her story was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for consideration for the national level RISE Award. The RISE Award (Recognizing Inspirational School Employees ) honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.
Janice Rice, a colleague from the school nominated Betty for the award. Here are a few thoughts from Janice about why she nominated Betty.
“Betty Newman has worked in the Baileyville School system for many years; she started working in the food service department when her mother was the food service manager and she just slid into the position when her mother retired. She has the respect of everyone in the school. We all see this commitment to the families and students and admire her for that. In her spare time, Mrs. Newman is writing grants to improve her program and this kind of dedication does not go unnoticed.”
“Mrs. Newman has always been an extremely hard worker for our school but when the school had to go remote learning because of Covid-19, she stepped it up. She had the ability to transform her two-school service for grades pre-k – 12 into a program that went mobile, serving over 200 children 14 meals a week. With only a staff of three to cook and package meals, she seamlessly transformed her school-based food serve program into a program that fed the families of Baileyville.”
“Another example of Mrs. Newman’s commitment to the students and the school is this summer when the school was able to continue feeling students in the summer months. Betty unselfishly gave up her summer vacation time to continue feeding families in the Baileyville area. Because we have a small food service staff, she worked 12 straight months, without time off.”
“Betty Newman is a dedicated mother, having adopted several children; she is a loving grandmother. She is working with administration to design and build a cafeteria. She has worked for over 30 years in a pieced together kitchen that is spread out over four rooms to feed students in pre-k thru 12 in two different buildings. This takes dedication, leadership, time management skills, multi-tasking, and the ability to lead and work well with a team.”
When asked what she loves most about her job, this is what Betty had to say:
“What I love most is the kids and to be able to provide a service for them and maybe make a smile in their day.”
RISE Award nominations were submitted from across the state by local educational agencies, school administrators, educators, professional associations, nonprofits, parents and community members this fall. Finalists and Maine Nominees were announcement recently in the Maine DOE Newsroom and they are being featured individually in the Newsroom this month. National RISE Awardees are expected to be named in the Spring of 2021. More information on the Maine RISE Award can be found here and the national RISE Award can be found here.