Archive for Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Superintendent faces favorable review

Lawrence school board members agree to extend Weseman’s contract

June 10, 2003

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Supt. Randy Weseman can expect a contract extension and pay raise, judging by the Lawrence school board's opinion of his job performance.

Board members met privately with Weseman on Monday night for the annual review.

"There is not a question that he will have his contract extended," Leni Salkind, board member, said in an interview.

Even board member Jack Davidson said he would vote to give Weseman a new contract. Davidson has battled Weseman on contents of a $59 million school bond issue, which voters rejected, and on plans to close three elementary schools and move preschool programs to vacated East Heights School.

"He ought to be renewed," Davidson said. "He's a good administrator."

Weseman, who is nearing the end of his third year as superintendent, is paid $127,500 annually.

Weseman said he wouldn't make a bunch of salary and benefit demands.

"If they choose to do nothing, I'll still be here," Weseman said. "I've made a commitment to be here. I love this town. I love the school system."

The board is expected to add a year to Weseman's contract, in keeping with the tradition of maintaining a three-year deal for superintendents. His new salary will be set by the board.

Teachers negotiated a 3.5 percent increase in salary and benefits for 2003-2004.

Under an improved benefit package likely to be offered Weseman, district-paid life, cancer and short-term disability insurance policies would be added at a cost of about $1,800 annually.

Weseman's stipend for using his vehicle for district business could increase to $8,400 a year. Annual district contributions to his retirement fund could increase to $6,000.

He'd still have 20 days of vacation and 12 days of sick leave. But the number of sick leave days he could accumulate would expand. He also might be granted a five-day sabbatical each year for professional development.

Scott Morgan, board president, said the community was fortunate to have Weseman at the helm. Weseman draws upon more than 25 years of experience in Lawrence schools as a teacher, principal and administrator, Morgan said.

"The man is dedicated to our community ... and what he has done with ever-dwindling funds is nothing short of remarkable," Morgan said.

Board member Austin Turney said Weseman carried a heavy workload.

He has also aggressively cut the district's administrative staffing costs.

"I think he's done an enormous amount," Turney said.

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