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Board learns nutrition facts about county school district

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By Sharon Graves

Cake and punch is a great way to start a new year and the Carroll County Board of Education did just that.  January is the month for honoring boards of education and Superintendent Lisa James honored the board with cake, punch and certificates.

The board also began the new year with a new leader.  Mona Kindoll was elected as the new board chairman at the Jan. 5 meeting.

Patti Burgess, food service director held her audience captive and in stitches as she gave her annual food service report.  Burgess is dedicated to following all state and federal guidelines ensuring that students get the required daily amount of vitamins, minerals and laughter.  Having been in food service with Carroll County for more than 16 years, Burgess bubbled with enthusiasm for her job and the students of the district.

According to a nutrient analysis Burgess presented to the board, the students at Carroll County in grades four-12 are practically on target for the amount of calories taken in while receiving higher than the target in iron, calcium, vitamins A and C and protein. The total fat and saturated fat intake is lower than the targets provided.  Burgess also explained to the board they were serving more whole grains and watching the sodium intake as well.

Burgess explained that she is able to order in Papa John’s pizza once a week for students and “they love it,” she said.  “Papa John’s meets all state and federal nutritional guidelines and kids eat more and parents come in and eat also.”

Carroll County serves 214,902 lunches, 109,646 breakfasts and 6,575 after school snacks during a year with the average daily participation being 1,242 students. The school is reimbursed for over $730,000 from the federal nutrition programs.  Students are charged $2 per full-priced lunch, and $.40 for a reduced priced lunch.  According to Burgess’ report, there are 1,118 students who qualify for free lunches and 133 who qualify for reduced priced lunches.

Jon Conrad, chief financial officer, gave his regular report and prepared the board to possibly receive less funding in the future. He explained that one grant is due to expire June 30, 2012, that pays for four teachers and most of the substitute teachers. 

Superintendent Lisa James said in her report, that Gov. Steve Beshear is trying not to cut the SEEK funding, that schools receive based on pupil population and participation, but the allotment is going back to 2008 rates. She also explained the state grants will be cut by 4.5 percent and Kentucky Education Technology System will also have a shortfall. 

The administration and the board are in the beginning stages of preparing a budget for the upcoming year and all of these issues will need to be addressed.

James also explained that President Obama is “racheting up benchmarks for Head Start and early childhood education,” that will require training in Atlanta, Ga.

James recognized Larry Tarvestad and Jebron Hardesty from Dow Corning for their long term commitment to financially supporting the school and its programs and through such projects as mentoring, recycling and its co-op program. James gave high praise for Dow Corning being a Champion for Kids.