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After working for school food programs at the state level for several years, Angela Voyles decided now was the time to make the jump to the local level.
“I wanted to work with the programs I had been administrating for so many years,” Voyles said.
Voyles, who has worked in both Kentucky and Florida, was recently hired as the new director of School Food Services for Bullitt County Public Schools.
“I’m very excited and happy to be here,” she said.
While Voyles said she has new ideas to bring to the county, she wants to get to know the district and how it works first.
In the future, Voyles said she wants to expand nutrition education and the Summer Food Program.
“Hunger doesn’t end when school ends,” she said.
Voyles said she is also a proponent of getting students to make nutritional connections between school and home.
“Anytime you can make that connection between school and home with nutrition, it’s always positive,” she said.
Voyles said she hopes to do this by having local grocery stores feature a fruit or vegetable of the week that is served in the schools the same week.
In addition, Voyles said she plans to continue a program retired director Cindy Kleinhelter pursued, Farm to School, and hopes to get local produce and products into schools.
Assistant superintendent of Support Services, Becky Sexton, said Voyles’ past experiences with the Kentucky Department of Education and the Florida Department of Agriculture and the knowledge she gained from those positions make her a good fit for the district.
“We’re just hoping she’ll take some of that knowledge and implement that here so we have one of the best programs in the state,” Sexton said.
Sexton said she also hopes Voyles is able to increase meal participation in all schools.
“We want kids that are hungry to eat, that helps them to learn, ” Sexton said.
This year, Voyles said she is looking forward to working with Shepherdsville Elementary as it implements the Community Eligibility Options program.
The program allows all students to receive a free breakfast and lunch at school, Voyles said.
“It’s all based on community eligibility, not the individual student’s eligibility,” she said.
Voyles worked to implement the program in Kentucky during her time as the Child Nutrition Program consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education, she said.
Sexton said she hopes Voyles’ experience in the program will help other eligible schools in the district be able to participate in the program in the future.
“We would like to expand it,” Sexton said.
Shepherdsville Elementary principal David Pate said the school was very excited to qualify for the program and is more excited now to have Voyles helping the school get the program started.
“Her expertise is just going to be priceless for us,” he said.
Pates said he hopes the program will be successful at Shepherdsville Elementary so it can be implemented successfully in other district schools as well.
Outside of work, Voyles enjoys hiking on the trails at state parks. During her time at the Kentucky Department of Education, Voyles said when she traveled she stayed at state parks.
“It was one of the things I missed most about Kentucky,” she said.