3 principals get 2-year contracts at Lyons SD 103
By Steve Metsch
Saying it’s important to keep good people, the Lyons School
District 103 board uncharacteristically approved two-year contracts for three
principals Monday night.
Several other officials also received two-year deals.
Board President Marge Hubacek said it’s the first time, to
her knowledge, the district has approved two-year contracts for principals.
The two-year deals run through the 2020-21 school year.
They are for Costello School Principal Mark Ankiewicz, who
will be paid $99,910; Edison School Principal Dr. Jan Bernard, $144,532; and
George Washington Middle School Principal Donald Jones, $110,000.
Ankiewicz and Jones are completing their first year as
Each salary is for the first year, with the second to be
determined, Hubacek said.
“We don’t want to lose our good principals,” Hubacek said.
“It’s based on recommendations from the (interim) superintendents.”
Also approved for just one year was Home School Principal
Kristen Smith for $95,790. A group of supporters applauded that pact.
Two-year deals were also approved for Rubi Ortiz and Gary
Wheaton, assistant principals at Washington Middle School, $82,400 each;
business manager Dr. Sherry Reynolds, salary to be determined; and curriculum
director Darek Naglak, $115,000.
Just a week ago, board members said it was unusual for
principals to be offered two-year deals.
“If they take a two-year contract after they’re tenured,
they lose their tenure. Sometimes they don’t want to do that,” Hubacek said.
She does not think Monday’s action sets a precedent for the
still-to-be-hired principals for Lincoln and Robinson schools.
“I would not anticipate that. Usually, a first-year
principal gets a one-year contract,” Hubacek said.
Dr. Robert Madonia, one of two acting superintendents in the
district, said the two-year deals for principals are based on the jobs they’ve
“We don’t offer contracts to any principals that don’t have
good performance,” Madonia said.
Joanne Schaeffer, part of the board majority, voted for every
contract except student services director Gregory Bublitz, one-year at
$117,420; and maintenance director Mark Galba, one-year, $90,640.
In rare moment, she and Jorge Torres, of the board minority,
both voted “no” on those deals. Torres voted against 11 of 13 contracts.
“I didn’t vote the same way (as Torres). I voted my heart,
my gut, my intellect, whatever. I have some reservations,” Schaeffer said.
Torres’ “yes” votes were for Reynolds and increasing the
hourly rate paid translators from $18 to $25. Hubacek said that’s more in line
with what’s paid at nearby districts.
“That $18 has been around for years. Some schools pay twice
that. We’ll do this in increments, I think, but we wanted to be fair,” Hubacek
The board voted to not renew the contract of Caitlin Moore,
a non-tenured teacher at Washington Middle School. A reason was not disclosed.
After hiring Mindy McMahon last week for $550 a day to be
interim principal at Lincoln School, the board on Monday night decided to
bridge a salary gap.
The board by a 5-1 vote agreed to pay Andrea Maslan, who had
been interim principal from Feb. 14 to March 18, an extra $50 for each of the
25 days she worked. That total is $1,250. Maslan had been paid $500 per day.
The Lincoln and Robinson jobs have been posted, Madonia
said: “We’d hope to have someone in place by late spring. All the contracts
start July 1.”
Incoming Supt. Kristopher Rivera will be heavily involved in
the process and make recommendations to the board regarding which person to
hire, Madonia said.
During public comments, Christine Colucci, a second-grade
teacher at Lincoln School, said that after attending several school board
meetings, she is “concerned about the present state of mind of all participants
invested in the future of District 103 students.”
She said that at the start of each school year, she talks
with her students “about teamwork and how everyone needs to be working together
toward a common goal.”
“I also speak the same message to parents. Tonight, I’d like
to remind everyone here that we are all on the same team with one common goal.
“That goal is raising and educating respectful and
successful students. I’ve heard this goal spoken in words but I don’t always
see it in actions,” Colucci told the board.
Madonia said a special meeting for parents will be held from
7 to 9 p.m. April 25 at Washington School. The meeting will be about how to
help children manage stress, anxiety, grief and loss.
“We’d like to proactively address that. We’ll have our
social workers involved,” Madonia said. “If a child loses their grandparent,
it’s very difficult for them if they don’t know how to cope with that.”
Fliers will be sent home with students to remind parents
about the meeting.
Transition work with new Supt. Rivera “has gone extremely
well,” Madonia said. Rivera is visiting each school to meet with parents.
Rivera visited Edison School on Monday.
The school board’s next meeting is on April 8 at Washington
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