Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson recently signed a two-year extension of his contract with the Bulloch County Board of Education. The new contract picks up at the end of his current two-year contract, which has one year remaining.
One year ago, the board gave Wilson his first raise since he became superintendent in 2012. It was from the previous $135,000 a year to $155,000 for the year now ending. Last year’s contract extension stated that he was to get an added $10,000 for 2015-16, if the school system made progress on “agreed-upon initiatives.” This raise from the old contract is confirmed in the new one, which notes that Wilson’s salary for 2015-16 is $165,000.
From that starting point, the new contract, beginning July 1, 2016, promises him a 2.5 percent raise for each of the next two years. The contract will expire “on or before” July 31, 2018, unless extended further.
“We have a lot of work to do, and the important thing is to be able to focus on that,” Wilson said last week. “So I’m glad we were able to come to an agreement, and now we have to continue to develop our game plan moving forward. I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot of good stuff that can happen, working together.”
Wilson and the board met during a closed session at the end of their May 14 regular public meeting, and he signed the contract the next day.
However, the board had met in closed, special session May 6 for the superintendent’s annual performance evaluation. A majority of the board members reportedly agreed at that meeting, which Superintendent Wilson did not attend, to offer him the contract.
As with other matters concerning the superintendent and board this year, the contract involves two unrelated Wilsons. Elected chairman by a majority of the other board members in January, Dr. LeVon Wilson can still offer motions and vote.
“I think that Mr. Wilson is doing an excellent job in ushering us through this phase with a focus on our strategic plan and our strategic initiatives,” Chairman LeVon Wilson said in a phone interview last week. “He is doing an excellent job in that regard, and we want to extend his contract for the purpose of seeing it through.”
Charles Wilson had been the Bulloch County Schools’ chief financial officer for 16 years and was assistant superintendent of business and finance when the board selected him as superintendent in June 2012.
After he led in creating a strategic plan for the schools in 2013, last year’s two-part raise was intended to bring his pay in line with that of superintendents in similar-size Georgia school systems, he and board members said. The Bulloch County Schools have 15 campuses and 10,000 students.
The conditions for the $10,000 raise for 2015-16 were tied to the strategic plan. Among other things, the board held Wilson accountable for implementing the new Teacher Keys and Leader Keys programs for measuring the success of teachers and administrators, he said. Another major initiative was his recommendation of one of the “flexibility options” offered by the state for a change in how the schools operate.
Wilson recommended the Investing in Educational Excellence, or IE2, option. Bulloch County’s IE2 plan will take advantage of waivers in state rules to give individual schools more control in how they use resources in exchange for meeting student achievement goals.
He and the board office have not provided a written list of the initiatives on which he was evaluated.
Wilson’s new contract places no conditions on the 2.5 percent raises, which will make his pay $169,125 for the 2016-17 school year and $173,353 for 2017-18.
Unlike the previous contract, which stated that he would also be entitled to any raises received by other administrators and teachers, the new contract states that he “shall not be entitled” to these additional raises. “Not” was typed in boldface.
Chairman LeVon Wilson said that the board voted on the contract offer May 6 but had planned to announce the contract at this Thursday’s board meeting, after getting the superintendent’s signature.
Board members did not entirely agree on the contract, according to Chairman Wilson. He said a majority of the seven members present May 6 approved after he made a motion and Steve Hein seconded.
“I can say that it was not unanimous,” Wilson said last week.
However, Hein, called earlier, had said he thought the offer had been unanimous in the end and that he deferred to the chairman on whether there had been a vote. Board member Mike Herndon, asked Tuesday to confirm if he had been one of those opposed, said he thought there had been no vote and that any differences had been limited to parts of the proposal during the discussion.
Herndon said he supports the contract that was offered.
No official minutes exist yet. The board votes to adopt meeting minutes at later meetings, and those from May 6 have not been presented for approval.
But both Wilsons, Board of Education Secretary Mary Henley, a witness and a notary public signed the contract.
The Statesboro Herald will report the vote from May 6 if one is entered in the minutes, or any other vote on the contract.
The newspaper received proper notice of the May 6 meeting but did not attempt to attend it. The agenda indicated that the meeting would convene, be closed as an executive session for “superintendent’s evaluation” and then reconvene before adjournment.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.