MONROE — The Board of Education, meeting on Monday, June 3, recognized retiring teachers and student achievement,  discussed tuition and facilities fees, financial and special education reports and the future of the food services program.

The board recognized retiring staff members Donna Aiken, Pam Benedict, Patricia Gardner, Kimberly Green, David Halliwell, Deb Kovachi, Barbara Lazarus, Deborah Lupo and Eileen Pannese for their service to the school system.

Jockey Hollow teachers Ms. Benedict, Mr. Halliwell and Ms. Pannese, Monroe Elementary teacher Ms. Kovachi and Fawn Hollow teacher Ms. Lupo received retirement gifts from Superintendent Jack Zamary.

“I asked them what are they going to miss the most and a lot of them got choked up when I asked this question because the response was always the same: ‘I’m going to miss the kids and I’m going to miss the people I work with,” Dr. Zamary said addressing the retirees.

There was recognition for two groups of students and their achievements. Masuk High School Principal Jacob Greenwood recognized National Merit Scholarship recipients Alexander Moreno, Julia Andronowitz and Sean Murray. Alexander earned a national merit scholarship commendation for placing among the top 5 percent of PSAT scorers. Julia and Sean were among the top 16,000 scorers. Sean is the Class of 20019 valedictorian.

Students Elianna Essenter and Grace Kearney were selected as two of the 75 winners of the Storyworks Create a Character contest. They were among 3,500 students who submitted character ideas to Scholastic author Lauren Tarshis for her series “I Survived.”

Board members discussed efficiencies within the special education program in the district. This included the plan to continue to send outplacement students to Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull as well as continuing the discussion around regionalized special education services with surrounding districts through EdAdvance, a regional service center operating in the western part of the state.

Presenting a financial efficiency report, Interim Director of Finance and Operations Frank Connolly commented that the finance board is working to bring the school board into the current budget and work on any deficits.

The board passed a moderate increase to the price of school lunches based on a discussion with Sodexo. The increase is due to the growth in options presented to students in the different tiers of lunches.

The board discussed raising permanent sub daily wages to $105 a day. Assistant Superintendent Joe Kobza said the $10 increase was implemented to be more competitive with surrounding districts.

The board approved all fee changes.

In other business, the board voted to keep the district off the State Healthy Food Certification. The board historically kept the elementary and middle schools on the National School Lunch Program and kept the high school off any program so the school can create its own. The state requires all schools to either be on or off the state’s program.

The board voted to authorize Superintendent Zamary and Assistant Superintendent Kobza as the signers of the agreement to follow the Child Nutrition Program.

The superintendent’s office signed the agreement in previous years, but did not know the board had to authorize the signing. This vote brings the district into compliance.

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