Manchester school superintendent's contract renewed in secret session
The board discussed the contracts in a closed-door session at Monday’s meeting. Unlike in past years, the contracts were not listed on the agenda of the meeting.
In the non-public discussion Monday, the board evaluated Livingston’s performance since she took the top job in July. Following the discussion, the board reconvened to vote unanimously to renew Livingston’s contract, “with discussion on COLA (a cost-of-living raise) and retirement to take place in April,” according to minutes from the meeting.
The contracts run through June 2015.
DeFrancis’ contract was also approved unanimously. There were two votes against the assistant superintendent contracts, from Art Beaudry, Ward 9, and Debra Gagnon Langton, Ward 2.
Langton said she voted against the assistant superintendent contracts for similar reasons as she has in the past. In the case of Burkush’s contract, Langton noted she had yet to earn a doctorate, as was anticipated when she was promoted to the position. Langton questioned whether the job could be performed at a lower pay grade. And Ryan, Langton noted, was being paid $6,000 more than the upper range of the salary posted for the job.
“I’m still fighting for those underdogs. When a teacher is out, you need a substitute. When a superintendent is out, you don’t need a sub,” she said. Ryan, who oversees curriculum and instruction, returned to the district in the fall from Nashua, where he was a high school principal. He has since played an active role in the effort to implement new state education standards.
“I think there’s no question she has the board’s support,” said Gatsas, who chairs the school board. Livingston did not respond to a request for comment on the contracts.
The previous superintendent, Thomas Brennan, made a point of having his two-year contract evaluation in 2011 take place publicly, telling the Union Leader at the time, “I think it’s important we get it out.”
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