Jeff Tech approves new contract with maintenance, custodial and cafeteria staff, receives donation for backpack program

Although the meeting did not last very long, there were some interesting actions taken at the DuBois-Jefferson County Vocational-Technical School (Jeff Tech) Board meeting held on April 23.

In his brief director’s report, Dr. Barry Fillman informed the board the school’s 2019-2020 budget had been approved by the four sending districts, DuBois, Brookville, Brockway and Punxsutawney. As previously reported here, the Jeff Tech budget totals $8.7 million dollars, with $6.6 million coming from the four sending districts.

New contract

Although approved with several other motions under the contracts and purchases category, item number nine stood out from the others. Pending approval by the solicitor, the board approved a new, five-year contract with the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. This union represents the maintenance, custodial, and cafeteria staff at Jeff Tech.

The contract is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Backpack program

The board acknowledged donations from organizations and individuals. One of those donations was $550 dollars from the Reynoldsville Elks Lodge 519 for the school’s backpack program

Megan Bundy (l) and Melissa Mowrey (r) in the backpack food program room at Jeff Tech. At the beginning of the year, Bundy said, the room is packed full of food.

After the meeting, School Principal Melissa Mowrey and Adult Education Program Coordinator Megan Bundy, who administer the program along with Guidance Counselor Jessica Schwabenbauer, explained to how it works.

Any student at Jeff Tech can sign up for the program by simply filling out an application, they said. However, the program feeds more than just that student.

“We pack our bags for the entire family for the weekend,” Mowrey explained.

This undertaking is supported by faculty and staff at the school. When it began four years ago, they packed 4 bags. This year there are 17 going home on the weekends.

In addition to the regular meals, the program also sends home specialty meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Local businesses and civic clubs, such as the Elks Club, assist the program with donations.

Mowrey added that the students and their families are “very appreciative and thankful.”

If you would like to help with the backpack program at Jeff Tech, contact Principal Melissa Mowrey at 653-8265.

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