Fairmont Area lunch price rising

FAIRMONT – The cost of school lunches will go up a dime following action by Fairmont Area School Board on Tuesday.

Elementary students will now pay $2.60, while junior/senior high students will pay $2.70. Adult meals are $3.60.

“Food costs are going up,” said Superintendent Joe Brown. “Our intent is never to make money on food service, but to break even. We don’t want a deficit on that.

“The good news is breakfast is free for everyone,” he added.

Brown noted that legislative action earlier this year eliminated reduced-cost meals. Students whose family income qualifies them for lower-cost lunches now receive free meals, with the cost covered by state subsidies.

“Instead of parents paying the 40 cents … the state will pay for that,” Brown said. “[The money] is simply coming from another source. The state had extra money from the surplus. We appreciate the Legislature and the governor for doing that.”

Board member Myron Moeller noted that free/reduced fees for sports will not change; the state aid just applies to the lunch program.

Turning to another matter, the board approved five new employees for 2014-15.

Lori Aaron-Brass was hired as the high school dean of students, Mary Jo Kerekes as business teacher and Theresa Linse as high school art teacher under an 80 percent contract.

The coaching staff will include John Korsmo as head girls hockey coach and Haley Loerts as head girls volleyball coach.

In other business, contract settlements for bus drivers, the Community Education and Recreation director and the director of building and grounds for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school year were approved, with increases of less than 2 percent.

Moeller summarized a review of Brown’s performance on a 1-5 scale. In 10 different areas, Brown received scores of mostly 4’s.

“Four is a very good performance; five is outstanding,” Moeller said. “He’s between good and outstanding.

“Joe Brown has improved every year he’s been here,” Moeller added. “We’re all super thrilled with the job he’s done.”