The Duneland School
Board held a special meeting yesterday to hear public input on a proposed
new superintendent’s contract. Two members of the public spoke.
First up was Jim
Jeselnick, who asked how the proposed contract compares with
superintendent’s contracts at nearby school systems. Board President Brandon
Kroft said the terms of the new contract are on “the lower end” when
compared to nearby districts. The contract on the table now is not as
lucrative as the Valparaiso Community Schools superintendent contract, Kroft
said, for example.
Kroft also noted
that superintendent’s contracts are usually public on a given school
district’s website, so interested members of the public can compare the
contract proposed for Duneland’s new yet-to-be named superintendent with
contracts at other districts.
Next up was Pete
Hokanson, who asked if the severance portion of the contract is customary.
Section (b) of the “contract cancellation” portion of the contract states
that if the School Board decides to cancel the superintendent’s contract
“without cause,” meaning outside of statutory reasons for cancellation of a
teacher’s contract dictated by Indiana Code, the Board shall pay the
superintendent $12,291.66 per month (up to a maximum of the annual base
salary of $147,500) until the superintendent finds new employment.
Kroft said the
severance is standard. “It’s language taken from multiple other contracts in
multiple other districts,” Kroft said. “There are statutory things that
affect that as well,” he added.
To recap, the term
of the contract is July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 with a base annual salary
of $147,500 for a 260-day work year. The proposed contract provides for a
$6,000 annual car allowance, and a $100 monthly technology stipend for a
cell phone, and provides that the superintendent shall be eligible for a
bonus of either $4,500 or $6,500 per year if he or she is rated either
“effective” or “highly effective” in annual evaluations.
contract also provides that Duneland Schools will contribute $10,000 per
year to the superintendent’s 401(a) retirement account and $5,000 per year
to his or her VEBA account. Per the contract, Duneland Schools would also
“pay all reasonable expenses” for the superintendent to attend conferences
and to join professional organizations, provided the Board is given notice
of the superintendent’s desire to do these things and approves the expenses
The full contract
is available on the Duneland Schools website. To find it, visit the “School
Board” page, found under the “Administration” tab.
The School Board
will meet again at 8 a.m. on June 24, at which time they’ll be prepared to
approve the contract and name the candidate they’ve chosen as Duneland’s new
superintendent, according to Kroft.
Kroft told the
Chesterton Tribune the proposed contract received a lot of scrutiny. “I
spent quite a bit of time with the attorney on it,” Kroft said. “We
negotiated a contract that’s consistent with the other districts around us.”