Board Extends Superintendent’s Contract

WINNSBORO (Dec. 25, 2015) – In its last regularly scheduled meeting for the year on Dec. 15, the Fairfield County School District Board of Trustees voted to extend Superintendent Dr. J.R. Green’s contract for another year. This rolled forward the ending date of Green’s six-year contract to June 30, 2022, and was seen as a vote of confidence in Green, although not all board members were in agreement.

Shortly before the public meeting began, the board members completed individual written evaluations of Green. The board used an evaluation instrument that provides three possible rankings (Exemplary, Proficient or Needs Improvement) for each of five performance criteria – Community Engagement, Student Achievement, Leadership, Learning Environment and Fiscal Management. According to Board Chairwoman Beth Reid (District 7), this evaluation instrument has been used each year since Green first came to the district.

Board member Annie McDaniel (District 4) raised the issue that the evaluation instrument does not include any goals or objectives for the superintendent and is not what the School Board Association recommends for superintendent evaluations.

“There should be more specific goals listed under each of the different categories,” McDaniel said, noting that the board “did not receive any information in advance about Dr. Green’s accomplishments and what goals Dr. Green would have set for himself, which would have helped if we could have received that in advance and had the opportunity to review it so we could ask educated questions tonight.”

Reid moved the proposal forward, and the Rev. Carl Jackson Jr., Board Vice Chair (District 5), recommended extending Green’s five-year contract for another year.

When board member Paula Hartman (District 2) asked to see Green’s contract, Reid responded, “I can get you a copy, but not tonight. The contract is not being presented, just the amendment to extend the contract to 2022, making it a six-year contract.”

Hartman said that in her experience, the average length of a school district superintendent’s contract is three years and asked, “If he (Green) leaves the district, what is the amount that the board would have to pay out?”

Green responded that, if he left voluntarily, “the district is not obligated to pay me anything.”

McDaniel also expressed concern that the board was voting on a contract amendment without a written document in front of them.

“Was there a reason for not having an amendment drawn up so we could have an opportunity to review it before voting?” McDaniel asked.

“The action under the agenda item is clear,” Reid said. “There is going to be a recommendation to extend the contract. In the past four years we have done the same.”

“But last year, we had the actual amendment in front of us so we could review it,” McDaniel said.

Board member William Frick (District 6) pointed out that last year the board also amended the superintendent’s buy-out clause, so it was not a simple contract extension.

“We can continue to do this kind of reckless stuff on this board,” McDaniel said, “but we should have the amendment in front of us.”

Board member Henry Miller (District 3) said that he was in favor of a contract extension.

“Mr. Green is doing a great job,” he said.

The amendment to extend Green’s contract to 2022 passed 4-2, with McDaniel and Hartman voting against the extension.

There was no discussion on the results of the superintendent’s evaluation or how that tied into the contract extension.

Reached after the meeting, Green told The Voice that his current salary stays the same under the amended contract, but with automatic annual increases built into the contract.

In other business, the board heard from Frick on the recommendation of the board committee to study board members’ compensation.

Frick noted that Fairfield County School Board members, under Act 191 from 1991, are prohibited from receiving compensation but do receive a $35 per diem for each board meeting they attend. After several months of analysis and review, the recommendation of the committee is for the board to ask the Fairfield county state legislative delegation to amend the law to allow the board to set its own compensation.


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