School board approves new food services pay scale, welcomes two new members

Published 10:17 am Friday, March 3, 2023

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It was a busy night for the Clark County Public Schools Board of Education.

During its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the board welcomed two new members, honored some distinguished teachers, and approved a new pay scale for its food services workers.

District Food Services Director Rebecca Lowry said that the pay increase was needed for her staff.

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“Ever since COVID, we have had a hard time getting staff and keeping staff,” Lowry said. “These ladies are working themselves to the bone – short staff – every single day.”

Some long-time food service workers have moved to other jobs, some within the school district.

“That breaks my heart that we can’t keep our folks in their food service job that they love simply because we cannot pay them,” Lowry said.

Food services has to generate its operating expenses by selling meals and does not receive district funding. According to Lowry, federal guidelines do not allow her department to save money, and it can only have up to three months of operating expenses in its coffers at a time.

The new pay scale goes into effect in July. Cafeteria managers and assistant managers will also see an increase in days under the plan.

New board members

The board officially welcomed two new members at the start of the meeting.

Judge Earl-Ray Neal swore in Billy Bennett and Ben Dorsey.

Bennett now represents Board District 3 and Dorsey now represents Board District 4.

The two replace former Board Chair Megan Hendricks and Sherry Richardson. Both Hendricks and Richardson resigned from their seats last December.

Bennett currently serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council.

Dorsey is a field representative for Geotechnology, an engineering company located in Lexington.

The appointments bring the board back to full strength at five members for the first time since last July.

Excellence in teaching

CCPS Chief Academic Officer Kelly Fithen announced that Campbellsville Univesity awarded three district teachers its Excellence in Teaching Award.

Over 3,000 educators have received the honor since its inception in 1987.

According to the university’s website, the award recognizes “quality teaching in Kentucky schools and to strengthen the field of education.

The honor is divided into divisions by grade level: elementary, middle and high school.

The elementary school recipient is Brandy Faulkner from the Clark County Preschool.

The middle school recipient is Lauren Whitaker from Robert D. Campbell Junior High.

The high school recipient is Shanda Crosby from George Rogers Clark.

Crosby, Faulker and Whitaker will be honored at a public ceremony held on the university’s campus later this year.

In other business the board:

Voted to rebid for service to replace the bleachers in the Campbell Junior High gymnasium.

Approved an order to solicit bids to improve the playgrounds at Shearer and Strodes Station Elementary schools. The cost of the project is not to exceed $500,000.

Approved an order to purchase four new school buses. The cost of the buses is not to exceed $500,000. The board also approved an order to purchase three bus lifts for an amount not exceeding $500,000.

Heard a first reading of and gave initial approval to staff allocation numbers for the 2023-24 school year.