Orion schools to charge for lunches

Mindy Carls

Families will begin paying for school lunches again in the fall, Superintendent Joe Blessman told the Orion school board on Wednesday, June 15.

Since 2020, a federal program has provided free lunches for all students regardless of income level, he said. The program expires June 30.

This fall, USDA income guidelines will determine who qualifies for free and reduced-price meals, the superintendent said.

For 2022-23, C.R. Hanna student lunches will be $3.10, Orion Middle School and Orion High School student lunches, $3.35, and adult lunches $4.35.

Personnel changes

The board accepted the resignation of Shondra Ruff, art teacher at C.R. Hanna, as well as the resignations of paraprofessionals Melissa Haars, Jessica Kettler and Kim VanDuyne; bus driver Jeff Wiedenmann and custodian Ashley Krup.

Kettler was hired as a childcare provider for the Extended School Program (ESP).

At OHS, the board hired Kelsey Cline as a sophomore class sponsor.

Over at C.R. Hanna, Jody Belowske and Brooke Buchen were hired as PBIS behavior incentive coaches and Autumn Manning as the media center coordinator.

Cooks hired were Lauren Cook at OMS and Sharon Peterson at OHS.

Also, the board granted tenure to Kelly DeBaillie, speech and language pathologist, and Jim Goodwin, school psychologist.

More: Still plenty of summer left, here's what's going on

Sports news

The board recognized high school state track qualifiers Mary Mohr and Olivia Thomsen and their coach, Scott Briney.

Nick Georgean resigned as varsity wrestling coach and Briney as varsity girls track coach.

Andrew Lister resigned as the high school’s e-sports coach. He is taking a sabbatical at Northwestern University as part of his Golden Apple for Excellence in Teaching award.

Also turning in resignations were two OMS coaches, Mitchel Jankowski as seventh grade boys basketball coach, and Amy Kayser, track coach. Later in the meeting, the board hired Jankowski as the eighth grade boys basketball coach.

Sara Marner was hired as the high school’s spirit coach.

The board approved paying a $300 fee that allows C.R. Hanna fifth graders to wrestle in the IESA postseason series.

Orion Athletic Booster Club’s 2022-23 officers are Travis Noyd, president; Brian Arnold, vice president; Autumn Loete, secretary, and Barb Cooper, treasurer.

Construction update

Blessman reported a delay in HVAC work at OMS. Some components are not available yet.

Demolition crews are preparing all three schools for new construction. Plumbing for new bathrooms is being installed at C.R. Hanna, where hallway tile is being removed. Offices at C.R. Hanna and OHS have been gutted. Ceiling panels in the commons at the high school have been removed.

The board accepted a $14,400 bid from Superior Asphalt for a new playground south of the kindergarten wing. First graders and kindergartners will use it. The old playground has been covered during construction.

At the old weight room near the concession stand at Charger Field, workers will begin removing the siding. They will replace it with red steel siding on the exterior.

Concrete will be laid to expand walkways and gathering spaces at Charger Field.

In other business

• C.R. Hanna was authorized to buy 80 student desks for $22,449.60 from School Specialty. They will go into fourth grade classrooms.

• Online registration begins Tuesday, July 5.

Orion High School