New Bloomfield schools hires new superintendent

— The New Bloomfield R-3 School District Board of Education Thursday night voted to offer the district superintendent’s job to Paul David Tramel of Canton.

Tramel is the current superintendent of schools at Canton, Mo., which is in Northeast Missouri near the Iowa line.

The board voted in executive session to offer the job to Tramel after a lengthy job search.

Newly elected board president Gracia Backer announced the board’s decision in an open session after the closed meeting to discuss hiring of personnel.

Backer said the offer to hire Tramel is contingent upon his written acceptance and his formal resignation at the Canton school district.

Backer said the board’s vote on hiring Tramel was unanimous. If he accepts the position as expected, Tramel will begin his new duties as superintendent of the New Bloomfield School District on July 1.

It was necessary to hire a new superintendent after the Jan. 26 resignation of former Superintendent Christopher Small, who had been placed on administrative leave last Sept. 26.

In the interim, the board hired Thomas Baugh, who was the former superintendent at Hallsville before his retirement. But Baugh could work only 550 hours in order to keep

full benefits in his retirement. That made it necessary for the board to hire another interim superintendent. The current interim superintendent is Roy Kramme, a former superintendent at Iberia High School, who also is retired.

In other action, the board voted to hire a private firm to operate the school’s food service that provides lunches for students and faculty.

The board approved a Food Service Committee report recommending OPAA Food Management as the firm to operate the school’s food service contract.

The board earlier had issued requests for proposals from food service firms after it began to consider private operation of the school’s food services.

School board member Shawn Cockrum was appointed chairman of the Food Service Committee. The panel also included Cassie Denning, the current food service manager, as well as board member Craig Abbott and school administrators.

The committee met with four companies. They included OPAA Food Management, Southwest Food Services, Lunchtime Solutions, and Fresh Ideas.

Cockrum conferred with the current food staff to gain their ideas and opinions.

The committee then met with all four firms. Southwest Food Services dropped out of contention.

The committee examined bids from the three remaining firms and concluded that all three would be good choices but decided to recommend OPAA Food Management.

The committee reported it favored OPAA because of its history with districts the size of New Bloomfield and its area director lives in Ashland. As part of its bid, OPAA planned to add two staff members to help with the workload.

The panel reported most of Fresh Ideas experience was mainly in servicing colleges and universities. Lunchtime Solutions is based in Iowa and serves very few schools in Missouri and all of those are in the northwest part of the state.

Abbott, a newly elected member of the board, asked and received board approval to launch an Academic and Technology Foundation to benefit the school district. Abbott said it would be similar to the foundation that supports the Fulton and Holden school districts.

Abbott said his goal is to persuade New Bloomfield area residents to become members of the foundation with a donation of $1,000 from each person.

The foundation then would vote to offer grants to the school for various academic projects.

“The purpose is to allow parents, community members and alumni to support academic excellence at the New Bloomfield School,” Abbott said.

In the two and one-half month transition to the new superintendent, Backer decided to appoint various board members to six committees to learn more about six subjects. They are school finances, teacher evaluation, policies and procedures, communications, grounds and facilities, and extra duties of teachers.

Elementary School Principal Julie Gerloff told the board that wild flowers native to Missouri have been planted on the north and east sides of the school. The plants were purchased from Missouri Wildflowers of Brazito. Funding for the purchase came from a grant received by the New Bloomfield Fourth Grade Class from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

A rain garden will be planted near the old baseball field and bird feeders have been added to the north and west sides of the building.

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