Bogalusa Schools’ nutrition director honored

Published 9:34 am Monday, June 30, 2014

Joannie Miller, longtime director of the Bogalusa City School System’s Child Nutrition Program and recipient of a recent state-level award, was recognized at Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Miller, who is retiring this summer after nearly 30 years of service as Child Nutrition director, was selected School Nutrition Association of Louisiana Director of the Year 2014 by her colleagues throughout the state. She was presented with the award at the association’s 61st annual conference.

She was also recognized at the Thursday, June 26, meeting by Superintendent Toni Breaux.

“Joannie is not only dedicated and passionate about her job here at Bogalusa City Schools but actively promotes and contributes to the profession at the local, state and national levels. I wish all my supervisors could be like Joannie,” Breaux said.

Breaux read a poem she had written about Miller’s contributions to the Child Nutrition Program and presented her with an engraved platter.

Other business included approval of the Community Eligibility Provision for the Child Nutrition Program, which allows for no-cost meals for all grades at all four Bogalusa City Schools sites.

The universal meal program is a provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and is being phased in by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It permits eligible schools to “provide meal service to all students at no charge, regardless of economic status.”

In order for a school to qualify for Community Eligibility, at least 40 percent of its students must be “directly certifiable” through data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or similar sources. That data is used to determine federal reimbursement for school lunches provided by the USDA.

The board also granted permission for the Bogalusa High School students who scored mastery or advanced during spring testing and the victors in the Winning House class competition to travel to Gulf Islands Water Park in Gulfport, Miss.

The Monday, July 14, trip is being sponsored by the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Team.

Additionally, President Adam Kemp stated for the record that Breaux was given a copy of her formal evaluation prior to the School Board meeting.

“She can have the results made public by her own accord at this meeting, a special meeting or an executive session. It will be up to her to make that decision,” he said.

Breaux said she would like to have some time to review the evaluation prior to deciding if she will make a statement on it.

She also thanked the board for evaluating her. This is the only way she can grow, she said.

She said she knows she is not perfect, and she stated that the job of superintendent is not an easy one.

“I’ve worked hard, and I’ve tried to do my very best,” she said. “I see some of my mistakes and some of my faults. I’m going to learn from those, and I’m going to get better.”

At Monday’s committee meeting, a scheduled executive session to discuss Breaux’s evaluation was scrapped after the superintendent informed board members that her contract stated all such discussions must be held in open session, and to do so in closed session would be an ethics violation.

Also Monday, the School Board discussed clarifying and standardizing disciplinary measures across the district to clear up confusion among students, parents and educators.

In his maintenance update, Coordinator Vic Boyles said summer renovation work is progressing as planned and special attention being paid to the fieldhouse at Bogalusa High School.

He said the work there will include new paint, rubberized mats, windows and casings, exterior doors, wooden lockers and roofing.

“That roof is just old,” said Boyles. “Right now the east side is just leaking in a number of places.”

Finance Director Deloris Walker said that some of the maintenance projects are being deferred until the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

Additonally, board members were each given a nomination forms Monday for the Pupil Progression Plan Committee.

“These will be our parents,” said Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor April Nobles. “We want to make sure your constituency in represented.”

During the Finance Department report, Walker said the budgeting process has been complicated by the fact that the district must give a portion of its tax money to Northshore Charter School, but the amount is still not known. She said she is requesting the student population numbers from the school as a courtesy to aid in planning for the next fiscal year, which begins this week.

She added, however, that an increase in state funding may help ease the situation.

“The budget is really tight,” she said. “Hopefully that will help us.

“We’re just doing the best with the numbers we have.”