Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Keith Mispagel, Unified School District 207 superintendent, was presented with a Public Service Commendation Medal by the Garrison Command team for his service to USD 207 over the past schoolyear during the monthly school board meeting May 24 at the central office.
“This has been an extraordinary year in so many different ways, and USD 207 has led supremely well by this board and also by the superintendent and the deputy superintendent,” said Col. Harry Hung, Garrison commander, who participated via Zoom.
“The time that I’ve been in this community, and I don’t have a good comparison with other USDs, but this has been a phenomenal place to work, solve problems, particularly as we address this school and the needs of our kids.
“It’s often quoted, ‘I couldn’t ask for anything more,’ but it’s the kind of work relationships that are solving some very, very tough problems, and we have gone through several iterations,” he said. “We are very careful about how we do business, and it’s just a real testament to the board (of education) and also the leadership that you have confidence and trust laterally and vertically.”
Mispagel said he was honored to receive the award.
“I couldn’t be more proud and humbled to be a part of your team,” Mispagel said. “Your Garrison team, under your leadership to say, ‘Keith, what do you need for our kids?’ … That’s an inspiration to all of us.”
Myron Griswold, board president; retired Lt. Col. Christopher Evans, board vice president; and Col. Scott Green, board member; Rich Holden, USD 207 chief financial officer; and SuAnn Grant, USD 207 deputy superintendent, were also recognized with Garrison coins.
In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it would extend its free meals program through summer 2022.
Therefore, all breakfasts and lunches will be free for all students for the 2021-2022 schoolyear.
“I’d like to give Marianne (Estes, USD 207 director of food service), credit for having the USDA give free lunch across the country because she worked so hard on our food service,” Mispagel said. “The way that she has streamlined our lunch and breakfast offerings this (past) year in COVID to be able to get the food to the classrooms, to have a significant increase of food served across all buildings, has been something that her and her team (excelled at). I applaud immensely. It has set us up for success moving forward as she has announced her retirement … after 11 years with us.”
To help save on energy costs, the district will have new hours of operation May 31 through July 9. All buildings district-wide will operate for four 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. The district office will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those days. All buildings will be closed on Friday. Normal hours will resume July 12.
Board members and other essential personnel practiced social distancing and wore face coverings during the board meeting. Some USD 207 office staff and other personnel attended the meeting via videoteleconferencing.
All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. June 28 at the district office. A Zoom link will be available to the public the day of the meeting for virtual participants.