Central Montcalm Public School ends contract with food service director

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 10:33 am on Friday, April 19, 2013

STANTON — The Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education unanimously agreed not to renew the district’s food director contract at Wednesday’s meeting.

Diane Mitchell’s contract as director food service will end, after a 7-0 vote by the school board.

“It was a budgetary issue,” said Superintendent Kristie Teall. “We have had to make cuts and the food service staff have stepped up and taken on more hats, but are doing a fabulous job.”

Teall explained the food service budget began the year at a $90,000 deficit, and cuts were necessary to get out of the dire situation.

“Amy Main as supervisor and Tarry Everingham as food service secretary, have taken on more hats,” Teall said.

Their duties also include fulfilling a shared services director with Vestaburg Community Schools, approved by the board in May 2011.

“We will re-visit that position for next year,” said Teall.

The board also voted 7-0 to purchase two “new” used buses at a cost of $34,000. The buses will replace aging vehicles in the fleet, according to Transportation Supervisor Val Conklin.

“We have had the transmission go out on one bus and another is on the verge of going,” Conklin said. “We are taking parts off an older bus to help with repairs, but are spending so much money on repairs. We really need to purchase two more.”

The “new” buses have been used as rentals and have 80,000 and 85,000 miles on them, said Conklin, explaining why the price was low. One of the current buses in the fleet is nearing the 200,000 mile mark.

To help offset the cost, the older buses could be sold for recycling, possibly bringing in enough to cover the cost of one of purchases, Conklin added.

“That is a good deal, I first looked at it and thought it was $34,000 for one bus,” said Board Secretary Bill Collins. “I am wondering why, at that price, you don’t purchase three buses?”

The board discussed the possibility of purchasing three buses, comparing the price of repairs put into the older buses, the $100,000 price of a brand new bus, and the tightened budget.

“I’d would error on the side of caution,” said Board Member Bill Simpson, “I’d like to see us purchase three, but we are in a pinch without knowing exactly what the budget is for next year.”

Conklin will look into the availability of a third bus at the discount price and, if one is available, come back to the board with the request to purchase a new used bus.

In other matters, the school board went into closed session for student disciplinary action. They later voted 7-0 to suspend the male student for the remainder of the school year due to the student being in possession of a controlled substance.

The student will be required to attend West Michigan Virtual Academy, undergo counseling and meet with the principal and school board before being reinstated to school for the 2013-2014 school year.

The student could not fulfill the state-mandated 180 days suspension  this close to the end of the school year, according to Board President Roxanne Switzer.


In other matters, the school board …

• ratified the employment of Laurie Eldridge as a part-time bus driver, effective March 4.

• accepted the retirement of Debby Whisman from her paraprofessional position, effective the end of the school year.

• accepted the retirement of Kate Zimbleman from her position of teacher, effective June 30.

• accepted the retirement of Scott Roberts from his position of teacher, effective June 30.

• approved a request from Tarry Everingham for a longterm, unpaid leave of absence, effective July 15, 2013 through July 14, 2014.

• ratified a request from Amy Clementz for a leave of absence scheduled April 1-26.

• accepted the resignation of Jayme Nyp from her position of paraprofessional, effective April 5.

• approved hiring Christina Spohr as a paraprofessional, effective April 17.

• accepted a leave of absence from Danna Rohn from her bus driver position, effective April 14.

• accepted the resignation of Caleb Robbins from his coaching position, effective April 9.

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