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 Superintendent Details CAB’s Cafeteria Program Woes

September 19, 2007 - The interim superintendent of the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation, Ray Pavy, advised school board members at their August 21 meeting that the cafeteria program had a deficit of about $56,000 as of the end of July.

Specific measures that have been taken to address this issue, Pavy told the board, include joining a food purchasing coop and participating in a government commodities program, both of which allow certain food items to be purchased at reduced costs. He also told the board that building administrators and food service workers were consulted at the beginning of the school year about efficiency issues and that the hours of some food service workers had been cut.

Pavy told the board that CAB is also looking at the "demand" side of the problem - trying to come up with ways to increase student participation in breakfast and lunch programs. He said it is hoped that the decision to allow students at Knightstown High School to go through the food line without being identified as recipients of free or reduced lunches will erase some of the stigma attached to those benefits, thereby increasing the number of students eating school meals.

"The peer pressure about being a free-lunch person is unbelievable," Pavy said, noting that several parents had given positive feedback about this change.

Pavy also told the board that efforts are underway to determine what food choices are the most and least popular with students. "If we can increase the demand side, that's just as good as decreasing the expense side," he told board members.

"We're not going to get rid of $56,000 in one year," Pavy said. "It's just not going to happen." He said the goal is to be in the black four years from now.

In other business at the August 21 meeting, the board unanimously approved attaching addenda to the contracts of CAB administrators that document the insurance perk they receive that only requires them to pay 25 cents a year toward their health insurance premiums. Pavy told the board the State Board of Accounts had said CAB had not adequately documented this benefit in the past.

The board voted 6-1 to grandfather in a new policy as it applies to CAB Transportation Director Janet White. Under the new policy, the school board may not hire the relative of a staff member if the employee would be supervised by their relative. Because White directly supervises her husband, Larry, a CAB bus driver, Pavy recommended the board grandfather the new policy. Board member Kevin Knott cast the lone dissenting vote on this issue.

The board voted to keep CAB's trash disposal business for the 2007-08 school year with Big B Rubbish. The board also approved a revised bus driver handbook for the 2007-08 school year, and voted to correct a typo in the board's new policy manual that incorrectly stated that members of the public wanting to speak at a board meeting need to sign up to speak at least 10 days prior to the meeting instead of the five days that had been approved.

The board approved several personnel matters, including the resignations of payroll/benefits clerk Diana Arellano and KHS agriculture teacher Khara Memmer. The board voted to hire Arellano, who graduated from Purdue in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in animal science, to replace Memmer, who left teaching to take a job in the private sector. The board also accepted resignations from KIS teacher JeanAnn McAllister, who was hired to be principal of Tri and Spiceland elementaries in the South Henry School Corp.; and from Daphne Thackery, half-time Title I kindergarten teacher at Carthage Elementary.

A switch in the teaching assignments at Kennard Elementary of second grade teacher Peggy Sweigart and half-time kindergarten teacher Shirley Myer was approved by the board. Lisel Wilson was OK'd as an afternoon Title I kindergarten teacher at Carthage Elementary, and the board also approved the employment of Caylie Dicken as a sixth grade teacher at KIS and Rick Wishart's promotion to head custodian at Kennard Elementary.

The board also approved the resignation of bus driver Josh Waid and White's recommendation to have driver Mike McDonald take over the route. The board also approved Jeff Haase to take McDonald's former route, and substitute driver Lisa Wells for Haase's former route.

The board approved employing Brad Hibbert as the head coach of the KHS soccer team, and approved Russ Hammer and Todd Jones as volunteer football coaches at KHS. Also getting board approval at the August 21 meeting were over 70 extracurricular assignments for CAB personnel, including department heads, class and club sponsors, and coaching positions.


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