Praise For New SP Food Service Boss

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trustees heap praise on food service boss

By Rupert Howell

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New food service director at South Panola Rhonda Robertson received immediate praise from the majority of trustees having children enrolled in the district who stated their children are enjoying new items included on the school menu during the September 16, school board meeting.

“It’s nice when your child comes home and  says ‘Oh, I love the cafeteria,’”  Trustee Sandra Darby stated.

Robertson comes from the Pontotoc school district where she held a similar position.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer explained that Robertson is embracing the state-wide initiative for healthy skills.

“She is being instrumental in changing kids’ attitudes about food at school and in their home environment as well,” Shaffer said explaining that kids may eat properly at school but need to take the healthy choices’ attitude home with them, too.

Shaffer also said Robertson was working well with building-level food service employees helping them to entice kids to make healthy choices.

Robertson said food service employees are “eager” and that she encourages those employees to come out of their area and be a “part” of the school.

The new food service director also warned that increased cost due to fuel and fuel surcharges are increasing food service costs but praised former food service director Lynn Dye for leaving her department in “good order.”

Trustees heard regular reports from school principals before hearing routine personnel requests and reports.

Seven school bus turn-arounds were approved at the request of transportation supervisor Robert Chapman – four of them for special needs buses.

School bus turn-arounds, when approved, allow the Panola County supervisors to authorize their road department to maintain the private road or driveway so that school buses can use them. Special needs buses often go to the front door of the residences.

Trustee board president Lygunnah Bean, who also serves as Panola County’s road department manager, said of one of the approved turn-arounds, “There is three-quarters of a mile with no gravel at all. We will have to build it.”

Bean also noted that he was getting mixed signals from the State Department of Audit on conditions needed to maintain school bus turn-arounds.

Turn-arounds approved were: 13489 Hwy 35 South, 225 Audrey Road, 946 Beatty Road, 2307 Shiloh Road, 3294 Cotton Plant Road, 117 Everett Street and 3946 Eureka Road.

Sayle, LP Inc., was the low and only bidder for liquid propane gas at Pope School for the amount of $2.45 per gallon.

Five students were expelled for a calendar year with an additional student’s fate held over until the October meeting.

School officials explained that the expulsions were due to starting a fire in the girls’ restroom, and drug possession with money.

Former superintendent Dr. C. L. Stevenson’s graduate class attended the board meeting after an earlier panel discussion and tour of South Panola High School. The class consisted of teachers and administrators working on their master’s degrees from Ole Miss through the satellite campus at Holmes Community College in Grenada.