LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County School District Board of Directors recognized two different student groups for their achievements at a meeting Thursday.
Both the Technology Student Association and the Future Problem Solvers groups of the were commended for their excellence in achievement this year.
TSA, led by teacher Jason Donaldson, encompasses both middle and high school students and had several members qualify for nationals this year. TSA presented the board with the three projects they took to the national competition and cited the countless hours put into the projects. The team meets one day per week after school and into the evening at both levels, dedicating themselves to achieving excellence in their assignments. Director of Secondary Education Vance Varner thanked the group for representing their school and county so well over the last year.
After the TSA presentation, the FPSP spoke to the board about their activities during the 2011-2012 school year. FPSP offers students of many ages a variety of opportunities to learn and apply thinking and problem solving skills, according to the members.
This year the junior high chapter of FPSP won third place at the international competition and first place at the national competition for its problem solving abilities. The group spoke about problem solving and how being part of the group is preparing them for college, careers and adult life.
Board member Dr. Ruth Armstrong stated that she was very impressed with how the group members presented themselves.
"Businesses around the county can always come forward and support these groups," board member Kirk Rager added.
Also on Thursday, the board discussed the importance in getting more students in the district involved with these types of groups.
"We have outstanding students. The problem is, we need to work on that from the middle down," Armstrong said.
Other members agreed, stating that often these groups were focused toward gifted students, and that other students felt excluded.
Board member Beth Laughlin emphasized the fact that younger children needed to be focused on as well. Younger children don't seem to have the emphasized need to fit in, as high school-aged youths sometimes do, she said, so getting them involved at an early age could ensure success in the future.
The board also reviewed the 2012-2013 proposed food service operating budget of $2.8 million. This number was based off of estimations, and is tentative, as all of the financial reporting for June is not yet figured. The cost also takes into consideration new U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations and the anticipated participation drop in school lunch purchases that may result.
New USDA regulations will limit the types of foods the children will see on their lunch trays. There will be an increase in whole grain products, fresh fruits and vegetables, but also a decrease in proteins and sugary foods. Desserts will almost completely disappear from the school lunch programs.
There was also a proposed five-cent increase to current school lunch costs. Lunch will now be priced at $2.15 for the elementary level and $2.40 for the secondary level. In addition, the proposed cost of milk being purchased al a carte was raised by 50 cents, much to the dismay of many board members.
Laughin said that it was unfair to raise the cost of lunch prices for paying students in order to accommodate the free and reduced lunch regulations, which are mandated by the USDA.
The board also recommended the approval of a resolution which will terminate the article of agreement between Mifflin County School District and Juniata County School District when the agreement expires June 30, 2013. The article, which established the Mifflin Juniata Career and Technical Center, will be terminated in the best interest of the Mifflin County School District.
The joined career and technical center agreement will be abolished so that Mifflin County can start its own career and technology program. Superintendent James A. Estep assured that the resolution will in no way effect the CTC students during the upcoming school year. Approving the resolution will give both Mifflin and Juniata County schools a year to make a smooth transition into new programs.
In other business Thursday, the board:
Recommended the approval of the McKissick Change Order for Interior Renovations at MSCS, which will furnish and install a laminate countertop and backsplash in the Science Lab, as requested by the owner, for a cost of $1,117, 55.
Recommended that Zachary Majestic be hired for the five hour food truck driver position.
Recommended the addition of Education Resource Development Trust/SHARE High School Exchange Program be added as of the the approved Foreign Exchange Student Agencies.
Recommended that the resignation from Jessica Parzanese, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, be accepted.
Recommended that the resignation from Brett Leister, health and physical education teacher at MCJHS be accepted.
Recommended that the following teachers be recalled from furlough status: Jennifer Lamar; Michael Grove; Elizabeth Sperlich; Tera Neideigh; Nathan Barnhart; Emily Eckenroth; Jennah Laughlin; Brock Hite; Jillian Kockenderfer; Wendy Mauery; Erica Wagner; Elizabeth Moon; Craig Montag; Tara Grimes; Bryan Patton and Maddie Kauffman.
Recommended that the voluntary resignation from Tera Neideigh be accepted.
Recommended that Margaret Hackenberger be hired as a Spanish/ESL teacher at MCHS effective at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Recommended that Kaylee Kellison be hired as a learning support teacher at MCJHS effective at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Recommended that Heather Eagle be hired as a school nurse at IVES, Union, BMS, and Valley View school effective at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Recommended that the following teachers be granted Tenure: Kristen Bedford, Jason Donaldson, Susan Garner, Emily McConnell, Sarah Watson and Rebekah Wyland.
Recommended that the resignation from Leslie Stewart, paraprofessional at MCMS, be accepted.
Recommended that Lisa Avedician be added to the substitute paraprofessional list for the 2012-2013 school year.
Recommended the voluntary resignation from Craig Montag be accepted.
Recommended that the resignation from Adrienne Harlacher, Learning Support Teacher at MCMS, be accepted due to retirement.
Recommended that the resignation from R. Ryan Eby, fourth grade teacher at IVES, be accepted.
Recommended that Michelle Schaaf be approved as the Data Liaison district wide.
Recommended that Elizabeth Book be recalled from furlough status.
Recommended that the voluntary resignation from Elizabeth Book be accepted.
Recommended that the resignation from Jason White, paraprofessional at MCJHS be accepted.
The board also:
Recommended the resignation from Brett Leister, assistant boys basketball coach, be accepted.
Recommended the resignation from David Prudy, junior high boys basketball coach, be accepted.
Recommended Daniel Schomaker be approved as the volunteer girls soccer coach.
Recommended that Andre French be added to the event staff list.
Recommended that the following coaches be hired for the 2012-2013 school year: Heather Benefer, Junior High Girls Soccer; Kierstin Walker, assistant winter cheerleading; Kylie Corson, junior high winter cheerleading; Courtney Kanagy, junior high field hockey coach; Steven Myers, first assistant softball, Holly Harman, junior varsity softball, Kirstin Kuhns, assistant junior high field hockey.
Recommended that the following be approved as volunteer football coaches for the 2012-2013 school year: Seth O'Donnell and Jerold Schnell.
The Mifflin County School Board will hold its next scheduled meeting 7:30 p.m. July 26, at the Mifflin County School District administration building at the corner of Eighth Street and Maple Avenue, in the Highland Park section of Lewistown.