Larry Lyons has been appointed to the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education, and the school district plans to take its summer feeding program on the road this year, superintendent Jim Smith said Thursday.
Lyons replaces Terry Britton, a former school board president who left the position in late December after he was elected to the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Lyons is the second member appointed to the board in recent months. In October, Doug Ernst was appointed to fill the position of board member Sam Barnhouse, who died in September.
That means that four board positions – those held by Lyons and Ernst and incumbent board members Bill Myers and Beverly Rhoads – will all be up for election next year.
Lyons said his plan is to seek election.
“I consider it an honor to have been selected to serve on the board,” Lyons said Thursday. “I’m sure there were some strong candidates and I’m just glad to have the opportunity.”
He said he decided to apply for the vacant position because he is interested in education.
“I’ve been in this community all of my life, I’m a graduate of Hillsboro High School, and I went to school at both Washington and Webster elementaries,” Lyons said. “As a result of that I received a great education here and would like to give back a little of what has been provided to me.”
Lyons graduated from HHS in 1970 and from the United Electronics Institute in 1972. Shortly thereafter he started working at Hobart and continued to work there until he retired in May. He worked the first 22 years in Hillsboro, then 22 more years in Troy in a variety of administrative positions, including general manager of the steam cooking division for the past 13 years. Since his retirement from Hobart he has started a consulting company.
In other news from Wednesday’s board of education meeting, Smith said the board approved a motion to bid for a food truck. He said the truck will be used for the federal summer food program that the district is reimbursed for, although it will not be reimbursed for the cost of the truck.
“Jessica Walker, our director of food and nutrition services, wants to continue to feed the kids in the summertime and wants to do it with a food truck,” Smith said. “With a district our size it seems to make sense rather than operating it out of a building.”
Approximately 50 percent of the district’s students are on an income-based program that gives them free or reduced-price lunches, and about 75 kids receive meals to take home each weekend. The school also offers several free breakfast options to all its students.
“It’s a way to cover that two and a half month gap,” Smith said of the truck service. “We have kids who are hungry on the weekends. I think we’ll find in the summertime the best places to take the truck to.”
Smith said that in addition to locations in Hillsboro, the truck will likely visit the Rocky Fork Lake area.
A new truck would cost around $100,000, according to Smith, but he also said that Walker is looking into grants and other possibilities.
He said the hope is to have the truck in operation this summer.
Smith said the school started using the new Sam Barnhouse Center, an athletic facility located behind the middle school, about two weeks ago. He said around 50 students are already working on individual workout plans in the center and several coaches are taking advantage of it with their student-athletes.
“It’s really off to a good start and I think that 50 number will grow,” Smith said.
The board also approved a plan, Smith said, to pave what had been a staging area for construction workers between the center and the school. He said contractors put a base of heavy stone down in the area, then the school added some middle grade stone so the area could be used for parking as it is until it can be paved in the spring.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.