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Newport Schools Name New Food Service Director

Lisa Rizzo, a veteran educator and administrator who has more than 18 years of wellness-related experience in the Newport Independent Schools, has been named the district's Food Service Director.

"I am very grateful to be in this position, and I can't wait to get started," Rizzo told the Newport Board of Education during a recent school board meeting. "I have grown to love our students, their families and the community as my own. Together, we face many challenges and opportunities, all of which has helped me see a need that goes beyond food that tastes good."

Rizzo holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University. She first joined Newport Independent Schools as an elementary P.E. teacher and as a volleyball and basketball coach.

In 2013, the Newport Independent Schools were awarded the Carol White Physical Education Program Grant. Rizzo became the FIT for Life Coordinator for the school district.

"Sharing my passion for physical activity has always been of utmost importance to me," Rizzo said. "It was through my work with the Carol White Physical Education Program Grant where my love for food service began.

"Through grant funding, I attended numerous school nutrition conferences, and became inspired to educate our students on healthy eating," she said. "We all need to know the importance of good nutrition, the way it makes us feel and its impact on the ability to learn." 

Newport Independent School Superintendent Kelly Middleton said Rizzo has enthusiastically embraced her new position, including developing new meals and food options for students and visiting other schools to observe nutrition and food programs.

"Lisa already has a lot of great things going on," Middleton said. "She will be tremendous in this position and will help provide our students with food that is not only nutritious, but also tastes good."

In addition to lunch, Newport Independent Schools also provides breakfast in all three of its schools. Schools serve a hot entree, six cold entrees, fresh fruit and milk every morning.

Newport Primary and Intermediate schools have also been awarded Fresh Fruit and 

Vegetable Program grants totaling nearly $50,000 for the 2017-18 school year, which allows students to receive a snack of fresh fruits or vegetables after breakfast or lunch three days a week. The grant was awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture.

-Staff report