Willoughby to Sign New Contract with Board of Education

June 28, 2008
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has agreed to terms of a new employment contract with the Board of Education.

The board adopted the agreement Friday night during a special session. The new contract takes effect July 1, 2008 and expires June 30th, 2011.

Willoughby's original contract with the board took effect July 1st, 2006 and was scheduled to expire June 30th, 2009. Even though Willoughby still had a year left on his original contract, the board decided to make a new agreement with Willoughby.

Terms and conditions are basically the same as in the original agreement.

In this contract, "the Board shall pay the Director an annual compensation of $87, 348 in twelve equal installments in accordance with Board policy and any additional State or Local increases. The Board shall evaluate the Director annually and shall review the Director's salary annually. The Board shall increase the salary of the Director during the term of his Contract each time an annual evaluation reflects that the Director has exceeded the expectations of the Board as follows: for the second year (2009-2010) a three percent increase; and for the third year (2010-2011) a three percent increase."

Under the original agreement, the school system funded Willoughby's total family health insurance package, a benefit of $13,793 per year.

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III explained that in the new contract, Willoughby will pay an employee match for the coverage. The school system will initially pay Willoughby's matching share for coverage of $5,103 per year, but Willoughby will then pay back $425.30 per month for his part. The state portion is $517.26 per month and $206.90 locally. Officials say this arrangement is not really an increase in salary or benefits for Willoughby except for retirement and tax purposes. "There was a misunderstanding about his medical insurance. We put $5,000 in there. That's Mr. Willoughby's matching portion for his medical insurance just as every teacher has a matching portion that they pay. That $5,000 amount was put into Mr. Willoughby's salary but in return for that, Mr. Willoughby will reimburse the school system that money on a monthly basis. So there's no increase in revenues for Mr. Willoughby. That's just put in their for specific reasons. That is not considered a pay raise because he does reimburse the board of education for that. That's the only change that has been made. Otherwise, this is the same contract as before. It's just a renewal and it's a three year contract. There was one year left on his old contract. It's not an extension of the contract. It's a renewal because of this one change (insurance). So there's two years that's been added to a one year contract. What you have before you is a three year contract."

The vote was 5 to 0 for approval. All members were present except Kenny Rhody and Linda Fuston.

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