Winter was given a Distinguished Service Award and recognized for his dedication to the education of Augusta’s children.

After serving eight years on the Augusta USD 402 Board of Education, Larry Winter completed his final meeting last night.

Winter was given a Distinguished Service Award and recognized for his dedication to the education of Augusta’s children.

The end of Winter’s service on the board coincided with the announcement last night by Superintendent Dr. John Black that the district bond construction has been officially completed.

Along with other board members, committee members, and citizens, Winter helped in the successful bond issue, and his name is included on the building plaques that are being installed on the new school buildings and additions.

He spoke of his years serving on the board, “I want to thank the public for their support and past BOE members who I served with. I tried to be respectful and it’s been a good learning experience. I learned a lot more in the last eight years than I thought possible. I never missed a meeting. I’m always amazed that more people don’t attend the meetings...We need to keep our focus on educating our children and supporting the staff. We have great facilities and after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado, I’m so happy we have the storm shelters...I’m thankful for the opportunity. It’s been fun.”

Winter was able to re-emphasize one his longtime positions concerning students’ grades and participation in extra curricular activities with the board’s approval of the 2013-14 Building Handbooks. Each year the handbooks come before the board for approval.

“Once again, I watched a high school senior football player not graduate. I still believe that academics are more important than the extra curricular activities,” he continued, “the sports program is great - my kids participated. But, grades are more important. So again, I will not approve the handbook adoptions.”

The board approved the handbooks 5-1, with Winter casting a no vote, just as he has each year.

The board also approved raising the price of student lunches.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Sec. 205. Equity in school lunch pricing states, “Effective July 1, 2011, schools are required to charge students for paid meals at a price that is on average equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement; schools that currently charge less are required to increase their prices over time until they meet the requirement.”

The average meal price in Augusta is $2.45 and with the need to match $2.55 for a difference of 10 cents, the district has to raise the meal prices and be at the required level.

The following prices were approved:

Elementary: Breakfast, $1.45; Lunch, $2.30 to $2.40.

AMS and AHS: Breakfast, $1.70; Lunch, $2.60 to $2.70.

Adult and Second Meal: Breakfast, $2.10; Lunch, $3.30.

There is no increase in milk fees for Kindergarten/Early Childhood, or individual milk servings.

(See Thursday’s Gazette for more on Monday’s BOE meeting.)