Food Services Focuses on ‘Feeding Our Future’

Jan. 10, 2014 ~ The Food Services Division serves approximately 25,000 nutritionally balanced meals to Olathe’s school children each day, according to a report presented to the Olathe Board of Education during its meeting Jan. 9. Board members learned the 275 Food Services employees serve these meals at more than 50 school locations.

Director of Food Services Scott Kingery and members of his staff touched on a variety of accomplishments of the department.

  • Expanding the warehouse and drive-in storage areas, adding two truck bays, increasing the maintenance shop, and improving the laundry facility.
  • Being a financially self-supporting division of the district, with revenue from customer food sales, and federal and state reimbursement.
  • Implementing a universal breakfast program in five elementary schools to ensure that all students begin the day with a nutritious breakfast. The number of students enjoying breakfast at these schools rose from 415 last year to more than 1,000 this year.
  • Reducing the number of workers’ compensation claims from 28 last year to only six so far this school year. The lower number of injuries has also resulted in far less expense in medical-related costs; dropping from $113,851.89 last year to only $4,887 so far this year.
  • Meeting United States Department of Agriculture, Kansas State Department of Education, and district nutrition and wellness guidelines.

There are also a few challenges facing Food Services.

  • Meeting the needs of students with special diets, medically restricted diets or cultural differences.
  • Preparing to meet future nutritional guidelines regarding primary ingredients (whole grains, fruits, etc.), dietary maximums (calories, sodium, fat, sugar), and beverages (including vending).
  • Working around serving and storage constraints, and production and software limitations.


  • Exxon Mobile-Olathe Grease Plant was recognized as a district business partner.
  • Jessie Payne of Olathe Northwest High School is the 6A state gymnastics champion in three events.
  • The e-Communication program at Olathe Northwest was honored as an Apple Distinguished Program.
  • Battle of the Brains teams were recognized for their outstanding efforts. An Olathe North High School team won the citywide event and an Olathe East High School team was a finalist.
  • Erik Erazo of Olathe North received the 2013 Educators Award from the Olathe Human Relations Commission.
  • Three teachers earned their National Board Certification: Sara Mochel of Arbor Creek Elementary, Susan Bloom of Washington Elementary, and Matt Peterie of Olathe Northwest.
  • Three teachers earned renewal of their National Board Certification: JoAnn Hiatt of Olathe East, Denine Larson of Fairview Elementary, and Beth Pope of Bentwood Elementary.
  • Elaine Carpenter and J.J. Libal, assistant principals at Pioneer Trail Middle School, were named 2013-14 Exemplary Middle School Assistant Principals of the Year by the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators.
  • The Board of Education members were also recognized in honor of National Board of Education Appreciation Month.
  • View photos from the meeting

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes, reports, Head Start plans, and student trips.
  • Approved the addition of Piper Jaffray to the investment institutions list for fiscal year 2014.
  • Approved a concrete and asphalt bid for district projects, air filter bid for district buildings, and trade bids for elementary renovation projects.
  • Approved a bid to purchase data storage solutions for the Technology Support Center under construction at 143rd Street and Black Bob Road.
  • Approved a bid to purchase tablet computers and iPads for classroom use.
  • Received information about future action items including budget development goals for 2014-15, end-of-year special meeting date and time, curriculum, 2015-16 district master calendar, 403(b) and 457 provider, and student trips.
  • Received the Head Start director’s monthly written report.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are available at