Onteora Board of Education to vote tonight on extension of Superintendent Phyllis Spiegel-McGill's contract with $10,000 pay cut
BOICEVILLE, N.Y. — The Onteora Board of Education tonight will consider extending Superintendent Phyllis Spiegel-McGill’s contract through June 30, 2016.
Her contract currently runs through June 30, 2014, and under the new deal, McGill would take a $10,000 pay cut, reducing her salary from $160,000 to $150,000.
“I make enough,” McGill said on Monday about why she volunteered to reduce her pay, and she would prefer that money go toward programs that “make contributions to children.”
The vote comes about two months after the school board adopted a controversial reconfiguration plan to cluster grades rather than continue to run grade K-6 elementary schools beginning this fall. McGill, who was hired as Onteora superintendent in January 2011, said she wants to see the changes through, be accountable for them in the long term, and provide the district with consistent leadership.
“I love my job here,” said McGill. “It’s not easy, and I’m busy all the time, but I love this community and this district.”
Some district residents, including school board candidate Rebecca Balzac, questioned the timing of the move, which comes two weeks before the school election during which she and Cybele Nielsen are challenging incumbent trustees Tony Fletcher and Laurie Osmond for two seats on the board, when the superintendent still has more than two years left on her contract.
Balzac also said it is inappropriate to extend the contract at this point because McGill’s implementation of the reconfiguration plan will be a good test of her performance.
McGill said the timing is not unusual because, typically, superintendents with less than two years left on their contracts are on their way out, and she wants to be at Onteora for the long haul rather than potentially looking for a new job. She also noted only two seats out of seven are up and described her performance evaluation by the current board as being positive, although she said she had to check with legal counsel before providing part of it.
Ann McGillicuddy, president of the school board, could not be reached for comment Monday.
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