Board to Consider Contract Renewal for Director of Schools

August 9, 2013
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a workshop in October to begin discussions on whether or not to renew or extend the employment contract of Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.

Director Willoughby's current contract runs through June 30th, 2014.

"Mr. Willoughby's contract goes through June of next year and we have to let him know by January whether we intend to
renew his contract or not," said Chairman Johnny Lattimore during Thursday night's monthly school board meeting. "If not, that's given notice that he won't be renewed so we need to schedule a workshop on discussion of renewal or extension of his contract," said Lattimore.

A renewal or extension of Willoughby's contract must be in place by March 31, 2014.

Willoughby has served as Director of Schools since July 1, 2006.

Under the current contract, which was renewed in 2011, Willoughby's base salary was set at $93,067 per year but he also gets any raises that the state or local government provides for educators.

The current agreement states that Willoughby is to be evaluated annually. He will be provided with an automobile and all expenses involved in the automobile for him to carry out his official duties. He may use the automobile for personal purposes not interfering with school purposes, provided he shall pay or reimburse the cost of all fuel during such use.

The board shall provide, during the term of this contract, such medical insurance for the director, spouse, and dependents as the school system provides for other licensed staff as long as the director maintains enrollment in the insurance program. As additional compensation, the board shall also pay the employee's matching share of the insurance plan the director chooses. Should the director elect no coverage under the school system insurance plan, no other benefit or salary shall be paid in lieu thereof..

The director shall be granted one day of sick leave for each month of contractual employment. Sick leave days shall be cumulative and unused sick leave days may be for retirement credit in accordance with the policies of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System.

The Director's work year shall consist of 240 duty days. Non-duty days include 10 holidays and 20 annual leave days. In accordance with state law, the director shall be allowed to transfer up to two days of any unused leave days to his accumulated sick leave at the end of the year; otherwise, unused annual leave days shall not accumulate from year to year.

The performance evaluation of the Director shall occur no later than January 31 each calendar year during the term of the contract. The board will review with the Director his performance, progress towards goals established by the board and the director; and the working relationship of the director with the board of education, the staff, the students, and the community at large; and any other matters relative to the employment of the director.

The board may extend the term of the contract at any time with concurrence of the director.

The contract may be terminated by mutual agreement of the parties or due to the retirement, disability, death of the director; for removal from office; or for willful cause upon sufficient proof of improper conduct, inefficient service (including but not limited to performance evaluation scores), neglect of duty or failure to follow board policies and directives. If the board terminates the contract for cause, he would be entitled to no further benefits or compensation.

The board may also terminate the contract without cause, at its option, provided that the board provides the director 60 days written notice of such termination.

The Board reserves the right to transfer the Director to any position within the system; however, the compensation and insurance benefits included within this agreement shall remain in full force and effect for the duration of the contract. In the event the director declines to accept transfer, this contract shall be terminated and the director would be entitled to no further benefits or compensation. Transferring the director shall require a majority vote of all members of the board of education.

The Director may also terminate the contract at any time, at his sole discretion, by giving the Board 30 days written notice of his resignation.

The Board may extend the term of this contract at any time with concurrence of the Director. However, unless the Board acts on or before the 31st day of March, 2014, or three months before the expiration date of the contract to extend the contract, such failure to act shall serve as notice to the Director that the Board does not intend to renew the contract.

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