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July 13, 2011 - BY WENDI REARDON

Clarkston News Staff Writer

Clarkston Community Schools bid farewell to Janet Allen as she resigned as the district's nutrition supervisor.

The district took it as an opportunity to share services with Lake Orion Community Schools. The Board of Education voted 7-0 to authorize Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock to enter a shared service agreement with the neighboring district, and share Marla Ernst, their current food services director.

"I spoke with Marion Ginopolis (the Orion superintendent) and their attorney is doing the contract," Rock said. "As soon as we have the proposal we will get it to you. We want to move forward."

Bruce Beamer, financial director, added Ernst was a strong candidate and they needed someone with experience to oversee all of the schools.

"By sharing this person, we are reducing our costs and getting an experienced, confident person for the position," he said. "We don't have to train her, she has financial experience and is comfortable with budget parameters."

Rock explained they would share the salary 50/50 with Lake Orion, and she would split her time evenly between the two districts.

Trustee Rosalie Lieblang asked if Ernst would be in the same pay range of Allen's $65,756-per-year salary.

"She will be in the same ballpark," Beamer responded. "With the exception of one obligation she has at Lake Orion."

Beamer added they will look at salary as well as her responsibilities when discussing the new contract.

Trustee Susan Boatman asked if it the contract could be be worded guaranteeing the cost would not increase.

Another concern was if the district would change vendors and work more with Lake Orion's food services.

"We might be using different vendors or the same," said Beamer. "With Wes Goodman at Lake Orion, we found ways to save money here. It will probably be the same."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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