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School districts assess superintendents

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Many in area are granted contract extensions

Several area school superintendents, including Denton’s Jamie Wilson, received their annual evaluations last month in closed-door sessions with their district’s school boards.

While the Denton school board will continue Wilson’s evaluation this month, other superintendents in Denton County districts have completed their evaluations and have received contract extensions, pay raises or both.

Other districts conducting superintendent evaluations in January included Argyle, Krum, Lake Dallas, Ponder, Pilot Point and Sanger.

Charles Stafford, Denton school board president, said board members conducted the first portion of Wilson’s evaluation in closed session on Jan. 21 and will continue the evaluation at a Feb. 11 meeting. Stafford, who was absent from the board’s Jan. 21 meeting, said any action taken on Wilson’s contract or salary will be done when all other employee contracts are considered, which could be in the spring or summer.

Wilson’s current contract began July 1, 2012, and runs through June 30, 2015. He received a 2 percent pay increase last summer and currently makes an annual salary of $232,560, said Sharon Cox, district spokeswoman.

At a Jan. 25 special meeting, the Lake Dallas school board approved a five-year contract extension for Superintendent Gayle Stinson, which extends her contract through 2019. The board also approved a 3 percent salary increase, raising her base salary to about $199,300.

The new contract takes effect July 1.

“I’m appreciative of the support of the Lake Dallas ISD school board and community. Our district continues to thrive because of our outstanding teaching staff and committed community members,” Stinson said in an e-mail. “Our Falcon Family remains committed to the best interest of all students and I’m honored to be a part of the process.”

Lance Stacy, the Lake Dallas board president, called Stinson’s work remarkable. He said that aside from her general duties, she served the district in many unpaid capacities, serving on various boards and committees. Last year she led the school district’s partnership with North Central Texas College in creating the Lake Dallas High School Collegiate Academy, and under her leadership, he said, the district was named to “the Texas Honors Circle for achieving the highest possible five-star rating in the Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas.”

And, Stacy noted, Stinson accomplished this all while finishing her doctorate degree.

“We are proud to have Dr. Gayle Stinson as our superintendent,” he said in an e-mail. “Her leadership and example are rarely paralleled and any district would be fortunate to have her. Consequently, the board wants Dr. Stinson [to] remain its leader and have taken action that will most certainly maintain the progression toward the district goals, values and mission.”

School board members in Pilot Point on Jan. 6 gave their superintendent, Byron Terrier, a one-year contract extension, stretching his contract through June 2017. The board also amended his annual salary to $145,000, effective July 1, according to meeting minutes. The board hired Terrier in May 2013 on a three-year contract at an annual salary of $138,000.

Board President Melinda Street said trustees are “very pleased with the job that Dr. Terrier is doing.”

“We felt like Dr. Terrier was doing an excellent job,” she said. “The board’s been very impressed with the way he’s come in and assessed our areas of concern and provided leadership for our students and staff. He genuinely cares about the students and staff and is genuinely focused on growth and quality instruction.”

Terrier wrote in an e-mail that he was “very humbled and appreciative of the confidence” the school board has shown in him by extending his contract and increasing his pay.

School boards in Argyle, Krum, Northwest, Ponder and Sanger each gave one-year contract extensions to their superintendents in January. Officials with the districts say no action was taken on superintendent salaries following the evaluations, but could be discussed at a later date. The superintendents receiving contract extensions were Telena Wright in Argyle, Cody Carroll in Krum, Karen Rue in Northwest, Bruce Yeager in Ponder and Kent Crutsinger in Sanger.

Wright’s new contract took effect Jan. 15 and ends June 30, 2017. She makes an annual base salary of $147,069, according to the contract.

“Dr. Wright’s done an excellent job and she’s a key part of the district leadership along with the board,” said Kevin Faciane, board president. “We felt like by extending the contract, that would recognize the excellent job she’s doing for the district.”

Carroll’s contract takes effect July 1 and ends June 30, 2017. He was officially hired as the district’s superintendent last April at an annual base salary of $135,000.

This week, Carroll said he was excited about his contract extension.

“I felt very supported by the board, and [I’m] just very excited by the direction Krum is going,” he said.

The Northwest school district on Thursday extended Rue’s contract through June 30, 2018. According to her contract, she makes an annual base salary of $247,200. Her new contract kicks in July 1.

Yeager’s new contract will take effect July 1 and will end June 30, 2017. According to his contract, Yeager makes an annual salary of $132,021.

“I’m always appreciative of the opportunity to work here and serve the community,” Yeager said.

Crutsinger’s new contract became effective Jan. 14, and will continue through June 30, 2017. According to the contract, Crutsinger will be paid an annual salary of $159,528.

Ken Scribner, Sanger school board president, said in an e-mail that Crutsinger received a “favorable review” by trustees and that “each trustee had many different reasons for the high marks they gave him.” Some reasons he noted included Crutsinger’s honors as the Region XI Superintendent of the Year last summer, the financial status of the district, morale of teachers and administrators, new additions to the administrative team, technology improvements, district savings obtained through an energy management system, student test results and student achievements.

“I feel the image and quality of Sanger ISD education is on the upswing and will continue climbing,” Scribner said.

As of Friday, there had been no school board postings to evaluate Aubrey’s interim Superintendent Debby Sanders. Last July, Sanders began a one-year appointment that continues through June 30. Sanders’ salary is $125,000 and includes a $20,000 stipend she was given after being appointed interim superintendent.

School board President Ron Bullock said Friday the board has not discussed in detail when it might conduct Sanders’ evaluation but said it will most likely occur toward the end of the school year.

Last summer, Bullock said trustees and Sanders mutually agreed she would be appointed interim superintendent for one year so the board could evaluate her performance and Sanders could determine if she wanted the position long-term.

The Lewisville school board is expected to complete the evaluation for Superintendent Stephen Waddell this month, according to Karen Permetti, spokeswoman for the district.

Waddell’s latest contract took effect July 1, 2013, and continues through June 30, 2016. According to the document, he receives an annual salary of $291,748.

In Little Elm, Superintendent Lynne Leuthard’s latest contract began July 16, 2013, and continues through June 30, 2016. The contract states she has an annual base salary of $202,618.

Julie Zwahr, spokeswoman for Little Elm ISD, said in an e-mail that Leuthard’s “mid-year review/goal setting” was conducted last month and that considerations for her contract are set for the summer, following the release of “the state’s accountability reports and [after] the pay scale for staff is approved.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.