Palmyra School Board hears about proposal to beef up school menus

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 6:00 pm

PALMYRA, Mo. -- Students in the Palmyra R-1 School District may soon be eating more beef thanks to a cooperative program involving local farmers.

Ken Disselhorst of the Lewis and Marion County Cattlemen's Association told the Palmyra School Board this week about a new program being introduced in some Missouri schools called "MOBEEF for MOKIDS."

The program is a joint venture of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Beef Industry and the Opaa Food Service, which handles Palmyra's lunch and breakfast services.

Disselhorst said the program strives to increase the amount of Missouri-raised beef on school lunch menus. If the program is adopted in Palmyra, the beef used in the program would be donated by local farmers who raise cattle in the Palmyra district and surrounding area.

In other action, Superintendent Kirt Malone provided an update on the district's 2018-2019 budget. He said the district has received an increase in state formula revenues of approximately $34,000 compared to last year. Funding from local and federal sources has been flat.

The board announced that it will work with Byrne and Jones Construction for the design and construction of the new track and field project at Palmyra High School -- assuming the bond issue proposal on the April 2 ballot is approved by voters.

Malone said the district has been awarded a $22,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Clean Diesel Program, which is funded through the Volkswagen Trust with the goal of reducing dangerous emissions from diesel engines. Palmyra will use the grant to buy a new, cleaner-burning school bus and will, in turn, retire an older, less efficient bus.

Malone discussed House Bill 581, a piece of proposed legislation that would expand charter schools in Missouri. He said the bill would allow students to enroll in charter schools from anywhere in Missouri and would require the student's home school district to pay for the courses.

Malone is concerned that charter school expansion would take state funding away from public schools.

The board also:

º Heard updates about the district's gifted program and the early childhood/pre-kindergarten program.

º Extended the food management contract with Opaa for the 2019-20 school year.

º Accepted the resignation of Ali Paulsen, who worked in elementary health and middle school physical education and basketball positions.

º Hired Ashley Wilson and Julie Vaia as special education teachers; Sarah Courtney as middle school art teacher; Destiny Kizer as an eighth grade English language arts teacher and cheerleading coach; Alexis Van Nostrand as middle school P.E. and elementary health teacher; Tara Claus as middle school Student Council sponsor; Julie Thrower as varsity girls basketball assistant coach; and Tiffany LaFoe as a paraprofessional in the elementary school.