School district may contract food management services

LEWISTOWN — With the recent resignation of the Mifflin County School District food service manager, the administration of the department may be contracted out to a private firm for a period of three to five months.

During the monthly committee-of-the-whole meeting of the district board of directors Thursday, representatives of Metz Culinary Management, of Dallas, Pa., gave a presentation on the services the company can provide, both in the short-term and long-term, should the district decide to go in that direction.

Superintendent James Estep noted Thursday the board accepted the resignation of Melanie Hill during its June voting meeting and she is leaving the post in two or three weeks. With the 2019-20 school year beginning at the end of August, there is a lot of work to be done.

“We have a lot to manage in the near-term,” Estep stated. “We are requesting consent for an emergency services contract for a period of three to five months.”

Estep said Metz can assist in setting up interviews and give the district time to develop requests for proposals regarding administration of the district food service. If the district opts to use the company on a full-time basis, which it does for numerous school districts in Pennsylvania, it would manage current school cafeteria employees.

“You need to have someone here,” said Dave Pisarchik, director of business development for Metz. “A lot of things need to happen before school starts. We’re designed to get you through these early months and keep the ship afloat.”

Estep stressed the arrangement with Metz is strictly for administrative purposes.

“I just want to clarify, the topic of contracting out spreads fear in the hearts of some folks,” Estep noted. “I want to make it clear that any discussion on these services is we are contracting an administrative role, not hourly employees. We’re losing an administrator. However, if Metz can provide management services for less than a hired manager to run it, I feel that’s something we should consider.”

Following their presentation, Estep asked for a contract proposal so the board could consider it during next Thursday’s voting meeting or in August at the latest.

Also on the agenda for next Thursday will be the adoption of several curriculum maps for the upcoming school year, including consumer science, math, physical education, science, social studies and English reading.

Prior to the committee-of-the-whole meeting, the board conducted a brief special voting session to act on the following personnel items:

¯ Approved the transfer of Tiffany Davidson, Title 1 teacher at Lewistown Elementary, to third grade teacher at Strodes Mills Elementary.

¯ Approved Blake Lyter as a math teacher at the junior high school at a salary of $43,102.

¯ Accepted the resignation of Korinne Kauffman, autistic support at the junior high school, due to personal reasons, effective Aug. 1.

¯ Approved Rebecca Miller as an autistic support teacher at the junior high school at a salary of $52,630.

¯ Accepted the resignation of Nicholas Wilson, emotional support teacher, due to other employment.

¯ Accepted the resignation of Erica Wagner, business/computer teacher at the junior high school, due to other employment.

¯ Approved tenure to the following teachers: Dakota Macknair, Cody Larson, Cassandra Hostler, Lucas Shinskie, Samantha Himler, Kelsey Gill, Wendy Bonson and Amber Oliver.

¯ Approved the transfer of Mark Hesketh, custodian at Lewistown Intermediate, to the junior high school, effective Aug. 5.

¯ Approved Pamela Bumgardner as a part-time cashier/dish room at the middle school, effective Aug. 21.

¯ Approved Richard Bender as a varsity football assistant coach for the 2019/20 season.

¯ Approved the following coaching positions: Jennifer Myers, JV volleyball; Derek Yoder, volunteer varsity football; Michaela Marini, volunteer volleyball; Erin McLaughlin, volunteer volleyball; and Nathan Poche, volunteer football.

¯ Approved the following coordinators/assistants: Jade Ruble, mathematics ($2,000 stipend); Nathan King, science coordinator ($2,000 stipend); Randy Fluke, co-op coordinator ($2,000 stipend); and Robert Lepley, assistant athletic director ($2,000 stipend.)

¯ Approved the following building leaders: Douglas Parson, Indian Valley Elementary ($1,600 stipend); Carrie Stufft, East Derry ($1,300 stipend); Julie Yoder, Strodes Mills Elementary ($1,300 stipend); Cody Lorson, Lewistown Elementary ($1,300 stipend); and Barbara McNitt, Lewistown Intermediate ($1,600 stipend.)

¯ Accepted a bid from Laurel Life for contracted services of a level behavioral therapist.