Looking for a smooth transition when Supt. Mike Sass retires after the 2014-15 school year, the New Lenox school board approved a contract Monday for his predecessor: current associate superintendent Peggy Manville.
In addition to approving a new contract for Manville, the board amended Sass' contract so that he and Manville will swap positions in Sass' final year before retiring.
"We've been very pleased with how the district is running and the position it's in, so we wanted a nice, smooth transition," board president Nick DiSandro said.
So for the next two school years, everything will be the same. Then, in the 2014-15 school year, Manville will step into the superintendent role and Sass will become the associate superintendent.
For his final year in the associate superintendent position, Sass will make the same salary. One of his key responsibilities will be training a new business manager. Harold Huang, the current business manager, will retire after the 2013-14 school year.
Manville has been the associate superintendent at since 2006. Before that, she was the assistant superintendent of instructional services from 2003-2006.
"Her inspiring commitment to the staff and students of our district is reflected in the superior test scores, staff retention, innovative and updated curriculum, technology in the classroom and affording students opportunities in not only academics, but in the arts and athletics," a district memo stated.
Manville's contract will last for five years. According to the new contract, she will be paid $185,947 when she movs to the superintendent position, about $6,000 more than her salary for the next couple of years.
DiSandro said the board researched districts of similar size and that Manville's salary is on the lower end. Additionally, it's considerably less than Sass' current salary, DiSandro said, though he didn't have an exact amount.
The board didn't hire an outside search form because members were happy with Manville as the candidate, DiSandro said.
"If you're going to pay for an outside search, you would do that only if you knew you didn't have a good candidate here," he said. "Why spend tax dollars on that? When we looked around the table, we agreed she was the clear choice."
Also at the Meeting
Pension Problems: As the Illinois legislature discusses what to do about teacher pensions, one solution has District 122 (and others) worried. A proposal would put the burden of paying pensions on local school districts.
Business manager Harold Huang estimated it could cost District 122 aout $1.6 million this year, and he asked board members and the public to write New Lenox Rep. Renee Kosel and Sen. Christine Radogno in opposition of the proposal.
"They're trying to pass the buck," Huang said of the state. "We believe it won’t be good for our property taxpayers. If it hits we will need to make cuts and increase property taxes."
Building Contracts: The board approved a bid for general trades on the window replacement project to International Contractors, Inc., for $80,280. It was by far the least expensive of three bids. It also awarded a bid for asbestos abatement at Oakview School to EHC Industries, Inc., for $41,680.
Sass also said the district is planning summer work on the Nelson campus parking lots, including fixing potholes and repaving. At the same time, the district will consider the existing traffic pattern at Nelson to find whether there's a better way to do dropoff and pickup.
Honoring Students, Staff: The board honored six retirees: Barbara James (Oakview); Linda Parker (Oakview); Sue Reyelts (Tyler/Bentley); Janet Toepke (Haines); David Ulstad (Bentley); and Diane Wilson (Nelson Prairie).
Also recognized at the meeting was the Martino Scholastic Bowl team, which was one of eight teams that made it to the state tournament, as well as Bentley students who were invited to participate in the state's annual technology demonstration in Springfield. They talked about technology in the classroom.
'Like' District 122: The school district has taken a number of steps to try to improve communication this school year, including a redesigned website, a weekly newsletter, board meeting recaps and more. Now the district is joining Facebook to share stories and photos. Like District 122 on Facebook.