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Willy Walker OSSD Director of Child Nutrition
Todd Lewis

By Michelle Holder

There are exciting things on the menu with the new OSSD Director of Child Nutrition and Food
Service, Willy Walker.

His experience in food service is nothing short of impressive; you might recognize his name
from his Bethel catering service, Traveling Willy-B’s, or as a former chef for the Willy-B’s Tavern
at The Three Stallion Inn. He’s been working in restaurants since he was 15, and since
graduating from culinary school in 1986, he has spent his career providing excellent food to
Vermonters.

In addition to his own businesses, Walker also has extensive experience managing larger,
systems-based food services for the White River Valley School District, The Abbey Group, and
Greater Claremont Area Food Service, which served 11 schools.

When I asked him what brought him to RUHS, his answer was easy: the kids. “I always liked
being around the kids,” said Walker. “They like to be communicated with. If you can talk to them
like adults, they are so responsive.” His dedication to kids extends beyond the kitchen; as the
coach for the RUHS Boys’ Varsity Boys’ Baseball team, Walker brings enthusiasm and genuine
joy.

Walker has many ideas about how to help bring nutritious meals to the schools. Before
accepting his job at the OSSD, he cooked at Roots Farm Market in Middlesex, where he
created meals and baked goods using locally-grown ingredients. This is something he hopes to
bring to the OSSD.

Schools currently use local ground beef from Larocque, local syrup, and some local vegetables.
Once he gets systems in place for the schools, he looks forward to collaborating with more local
farms next year. “It’s great to hear from farmers,” said Walker. “What better thing than to get
local food right here in the village?” Walker encourages local farmers and producers who would
like to partner with the OSSD to reach out to him.

Another way Walker hopes to incorporate local food is by partnering with students in RTCC.
Coming up, he’ll have eggplant in the kitchen and later microgreens planted by our students. In
return, he’ll give food scraps to RTCC’s compost. Walker asserts, “It’s going to make it much
more advantageous for the kids because what they’re growing, they’re going to be eating.”

Expanding menus is another goal. The schools currently serve free breakfast and lunch to
students at all schools. There are now 8 or 9 different breakfast options at RUMHS each day,
including cereal, yogurt parfaits, bagels, and a hot entree with eggs, hashbrowns, and breakfast
meat.

And there’s something for everyone, even those with special dietary needs. Offerings include
gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk, a deli station, and vegetarian options along with salad
bars at RUMHS and RES.

Walker also wants to celebrate more holidays across the district. “We’ve got lots of plans to
help celebrate the holidays and the cultures, too, which I think is important because then we get
some more understanding of one another.” In addition to the Thanksgiving meals, he hopes to
add in some special meals for a variety of holidays including, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day,
Easter, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. These meals will also introduce students to new
ingredients and flavors, such as okra.

He also encourages parents to fill out applications for free and reduced lunch, available on the
school’s website. While all students in the district will receive free breakfast and lunch, these
forms help the school district receive federal funding and obtain grants. They can also help
provide additional benefits to the families directly.

Walker says he loves hearing from students and parents about their hopes for school meals. “I
love talking with parents. I’d love to hear from the kids if they want certain items. If I can make
that happen, I will. They’re my customers, same as the parents.”

For questions about the OSSD Nutrition program, or to collaborate with local ingredients,
Walker can be reached by email Willy Walker or through the OSSD
website, https://www.orangesouthwest.org/programs/food-service.

More News

Dear OSSD Families,

Last night the OSSD Board approved the last day of school. The last day for students will be Monday, June 17. The last day for faculty will be Tuesday, June 18 and will be dedicated to Professional Development.

Thank you for making 2023-2024 an outstanding school year filled with learning and joyful memories. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Sincerely, 

Heather


Heather Lawler

Assistant Superintendent

Dear OSSD Community,

 

We hope that your spring vacation is going well.  We wanted to share more good news about the Orange Southwest School District.  A short while ago, our High School joined our middle school and Braintree Elementary by being recognized in the national rankings.  RUHS (grades 9-12) is ranked as the 13th highest performing high school in the state of Vermont.  We are also ranked above 77% of the approximately 23,500 public high schools in the United States.

I want to personally thank our leadership team and all the staff that have contributed their hard work to making this possible for our students.

“Randolph Union High School earned high National and metro-area rankings in 2024 Best High Schools, which U.S. News released yesterday. Here is your school’s updated U.S. News profile page, with details about its rankings: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/vermont/districts/orange-southwest-unified-school-district/randolph-union-high-school-201657.”

 

Most Sincerely,

 

Layne W. Millington

OSSD Superintendent

Best Elementary School 2024

US News and World Report have released their 2023-24 Best Schools in the Country list.  Two OSSD schools have been identified as some of the best in the state!

 

Braintree Elementary is ranked the 5th Best Elementary School.  

Click Here to see the full list of Elementary Schools.

 

Randolph Union High School is ranked the 20th Best Elementary School.

Click Here to see the full list of Middle Schools.

Willy Walker OSSD Director of Child Nutrition

By Michelle Holder

There are exciting things on the menu with the new OSSD Director of Child Nutrition and Food
Service, Willy Walker.

His experience in food service is nothing short of impressive; you might recognize his name
from his Bethel catering service, Traveling Willy-B’s, or as a former chef for the Willy-B’s Tavern
at The Three Stallion Inn. He’s been working in restaurants since he was 15, and since
graduating from culinary school in 1986, he has spent his career providing excellent food to
Vermonters.

In addition to his own businesses, Walker also has extensive experience managing larger,
systems-based food services for the White River Valley School District, The Abbey Group, and
Greater Claremont Area Food Service, which served 11 schools.

When I asked him what brought him to RUHS, his answer was easy: the kids. “I always liked
being around the kids,” said Walker. “They like to be communicated with. If you can talk to them
like adults, they are so responsive.” His dedication to kids extends beyond the kitchen; as the
coach for the RUHS Boys’ Varsity Boys’ Baseball team, Walker brings enthusiasm and genuine
joy.

Walker has many ideas about how to help bring nutritious meals to the schools. Before
accepting his job at the OSSD, he cooked at Roots Farm Market in Middlesex, where he
created meals and baked goods using locally-grown ingredients. This is something he hopes to
bring to the OSSD.

Schools currently use local ground beef from Larocque, local syrup, and some local vegetables.
Once he gets systems in place for the schools, he looks forward to collaborating with more local
farms next year. “It’s great to hear from farmers,” said Walker. “What better thing than to get
local food right here in the village?” Walker encourages local farmers and producers who would
like to partner with the OSSD to reach out to him.

Another way Walker hopes to incorporate local food is by partnering with students in RTCC.
Coming up, he’ll have eggplant in the kitchen and later microgreens planted by our students. In
return, he’ll give food scraps to RTCC’s compost. Walker asserts, “It’s going to make it much
more advantageous for the kids because what they’re growing, they’re going to be eating.”

Expanding menus is another goal. The schools currently serve free breakfast and lunch to
students at all schools. There are now 8 or 9 different breakfast options at RUMHS each day,
including cereal, yogurt parfaits, bagels, and a hot entree with eggs, hashbrowns, and breakfast
meat.

And there’s something for everyone, even those with special dietary needs. Offerings include
gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk, a deli station, and vegetarian options along with salad
bars at RUMHS and RES.

Walker also wants to celebrate more holidays across the district. “We’ve got lots of plans to
help celebrate the holidays and the cultures, too, which I think is important because then we get
some more understanding of one another.” In addition to the Thanksgiving meals, he hopes to
add in some special meals for a variety of holidays including, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day,
Easter, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. These meals will also introduce students to new
ingredients and flavors, such as okra.

He also encourages parents to fill out applications for free and reduced lunch, available on the
school’s website. While all students in the district will receive free breakfast and lunch, these
forms help the school district receive federal funding and obtain grants. They can also help
provide additional benefits to the families directly.

Walker says he loves hearing from students and parents about their hopes for school meals. “I
love talking with parents. I’d love to hear from the kids if they want certain items. If I can make
that happen, I will. They’re my customers, same as the parents.”

For questions about the OSSD Nutrition program, or to collaborate with local ingredients,
Walker can be reached by email Willy Walker or through the OSSD
website, https://www.orangesouthwest.org/programs/food-service.