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Many WCPS students hope new superintendent can improve lunches

May 28, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Morgan Kolich and Thomas McNeil wait in the lunch line at Old Forge Elementary.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

Fourth-grader Joseph Fouke has a beef with school cheeseburgers.

Some other students attending Washington County Public Schools called for the new superintendent to visit the schools.

Before Clayton M. Wilcox was named the new superintendent for Washington County Public Schools, The Herald-Mail asked several students, if they could sit down with the new superintendent and have one wish granted, what would it be?

Thirty-two students were interviewed at Clear Spring High School, at Western Heights Middle School in Hagerstown's West End and at Old Forge Elementary School west of Smithsburg.

Clear Spring High School juniors Jared Mummert and Erik Stupelman want the new superintendent to visit schools more often.

More frequent visits would give the superintendent a "clear head on the strengths and weaknesses, and stuff that needs to be fixed," said Erik, 17, of the Hagerstown area.

Jared, 17, of Clear Spring, called for the superintendent to visit every school to check out school lunches and how teachers teach.

Some Clear Spring High School students said they want attention and funds paid to the smaller schools, not just the larger ones or new ones such as Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in downtown Hagerstown.

Wilcox, who takes over the superintendent job July 1, said the superintendent should be visible.

"I think kids should see and know who their superintendent is, so hopefully I can be at a lot of different schools," Wilcox said.

School lunches were the most popular topic among the students.

"They do give us cheeseburgers, but I think they could make them a little better. And they give us shrimp poppers, which I don't even know if they're shrimp or not," Old Forge student Joseph Fouke said.

Joseph, 10, said he wants the cheese on his burgers to not look like mustard, and he and Ethan Sandy, 10, would like more condiment options.

Fifth-grader Cole Nussear also didn't hold back about his thoughts on school lunches.

Cole said he wanted better lunches because they are "iffy" and some are "really gross."

Clear Spring freshman Jonathan Henesy, 15, suggested more lunch choices and "more portions," while junior Erik Stupelman would like healthier food.

"We're in Clear Spring. It shouldn't be that hard to find locally grown food," Erik said.

Jeff Proulx, supervisor of food and nutrition services, said the school system has been working, with the assistance of culinary students this school year, on creating tastier, healthier meals.

Students created recipes, from scratch, that provided an opportunity to use spices and herbs that cafeteria workers typically can't take advantage of because many school lunches are reheated from a frozen state, Proulx said.

Some examples of the tastier, healthier meals students might see in school cafeterias next school year are beef enchilada pies, baked chicken spaghetti and chicken gumbo — all made from scratch, Proulx said.

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