PIERCETON — Rain on March 14 may have been cause for a few umbrellas, but it certainly wasn’t able to dampen the camaraderie of the much anticipated Lunch and Learn hosted by Whitko Community Schools.

Students from Whitko Jr/Sr High School’s FFA Chapter served meals of pulled pork and as a special treat — the secret family recipe of chili beans provided by Pierceton’s Deb Thomas and her mother Marie. Karrin Koontz and John Snyder of WJSHS were available to assist during the meeting, as were PES’ Mike McClain and SWE’s Bryan Emmert.

Along with a meal, the main goals were twofold. To generate excitement around the new committees currently being formed by the Whitko School Board, and to show appreciation to the agricultural community for their support at Whitko Community Schools.

The idea encompassing committees formed by the community began to spark interest during a school board work session in February, just before Valentine’s Day. During that work session, Penrod led those in attendance through a whiteboard discussion. Brainstorming was encouraged to help find the best plan of action, and as a result of that meeting, “Join A Committee” was presented as an idea that now has its own web address, business cards and even the Lunch and Learn events.

After the meeting, Superintendent Penrod shared, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with so many of the faces in our community. It felt great to host Pierceton’s Ag Community, share a meal together and cast some vision for our school.

“I’d like to thank the Pierceton Presbyterian Church for allowing us to use their Fellowship Hall.”

Among the more immediate relationships, Penrod and the school board will be looking to engage are citizens with interests that may align within committees currently being formed. Those committees include: curriculum, finance, staff engagement, community engagement, Advo-Cats, and as interest builds, more committees will likely be added to the list.

Those within the Whitko Community need not feel excluded if they were not at this meeting. Whitko hosts its school board work sessions and school board meetings on a monthly basis and the public is encouraged to attend. In an effort to also help increase transparency and make the meetings more accessible, Penrod has also taken action over the past two months to help the meetings be streamed live over Facebook.