CENTERBURG — The Centerburg board of education Monday recognized coaches and members of the Varsity Girls Cross Country team on a successful season.

The board extended its commendation to the team for being the runner-up for the 2019 District and 2019 Regional championships and placing 6th at the State Cross Country championships. With that, they encourage Centerburg students to participate in interscholastic athletic competitions and recognize the dedication and discipline needed to qualify for state competitions.

Autumn Pauley, district food service manager, attended the meeting to discuss the problems occurring with the lunch charges at both the elementary and middle/high school level.

“Our charging in our district is probably at the worst rate it’s been at since I’ve been here,” she said to the board.

Earlier this month, the school lunch debt had been over $800. A community member, Heather Monroe, put together a fundraiser for the community and was able to gather close to $1,200 in donations to cover that debt.

“I will be honest,” Pauley continued, “I look at those funds to be just right back down there.”

She said that part of the problem is that parents don’t take full advantage of the free and reduced lunch program at the school. She does her part in sending letters home at the elementary level several times a week for kids who have a balance. She has started making phone calls to parents of high school students as well to make them aware of the debt that is occurring. Parents can also see a student’s lunch account through MySchoolBucks, an app that also allows the parents to track what the kids are buying and put more money into the account.

“We will never deny a student a meal, that is not what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said.

Mike Hebenthal, Centerburg’s superintendent, and Pauley sat down and looked over guidelines to help create a new policy for the school. These guidelines are to help limit the number of charges a student is allowed. For students who pay the full amount for lunch, they will have 3 charges. Students who pay the reduced amount will have 6 charges available to them. Once a student reaches their charge limit, they will be given a lunch the consists of a sandwich, some vegetables and milk.

“It reminds them very clearly that they need to tell mom and dad,” Hebenthal said. “It’s amazing how quickly it gets paid off.”

The policy was put up from a vote from the board and was passed.

The board also approved:

•Donations from Your Chase to Elementary Principal’s Account of $15, Rangefinders from Jason Crowl to the high school boys gold program, rebound machine from Centerburg Athletic Booster Club to the boys and girls basketball programs, and $1,208 from James and Heather Monroe as a community donation to the cafeteria.

•Approved the Knox County ESC as a partner for the district Community and Wellness program.

•Changes to various school board policies as required by law.

•Various personnel and volunteers.

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Jamie Holland: 740-397-5333 or jamie@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @