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School board okays purchase of multiple food service items with more on the way

By Ralph Echtinaw

An embarrassment of riches in the St. Louis Schools food service fund triggered the purchase of $69,931 worth of equipment last month.

The district finished 2021 with a surplus fund balance in food service and is only allowed to keep three months of operating costs in reserve, so money had to be spent.

The school board approved purchase of a Combitherm CT Classic Combi Oven/Steamer from Stafford Smith for $31,516.

Also ran bidders were Trimark Foodcraft ($33,240) and Webstaurant Store ($31,639).

The board followed that with the purchase of two worktop freezers, two reach-in freezers, three open display merchandisers, one refrigerated merchandiser and two milk coolers from Stafford Smith for $38,415.

Also ran bidders were Johnson Lancaster and Associates ($48,785), Edward Don and Company ($45,400) and Webstaurant Store ($38,874).

And they’re not done yet. Superintendent Jennifer McKittrick told the board that “we’re going to need to spend down an additional $100,000.”

Bus purchase

The board approved purchase of a new school bus from Midwest Transit for $100,263.

Also ran bidders were Holland ($102,996) and Hoekstra ($103,546).

Last year the district bought a bus for $90,000, so the price has risen more than 10 percent in one year.

Business Professionals of America

Andrea Biehl told the board that she took 23 students to a BPA event in Grand Rapids and “they had an amazing experience.” Eleven students got awards and nine qualified for the national event in Dallas, Texas next month. The cost of the Dallas trip per student is $900 (not including food), so Biehl asked the board to kick in the $125 registration fee for nine students. The board did so.

Money raised

McKittrick reported that the St. Louis Shark Technology Foundation hosted its annual dinner with silent and live auctions, raising nearly $19,000. 

Outdoor graduation set

This year’s graduation ceremony is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, on the football field (weather permitting). 

Additions and subtractions

The board approved the hiring of Thomas Judge as elementary gym teacher for Carrie Knause and Nikkari. Judge is right out of college and grew up in Shepherd. 

The board approved a leave of absence for Carrie Knause teacher Leslie Lambert in lieu of her using the Family and Medical Leave Act to get time off work. She won’t be eligible for that until she has worked in the district one year. “We want to be able to extend this to her to protect her job,” McKittrick said.

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