Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Silberman signs 4 year pact, foregoes pay increase

Congratulations to Fayette County Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman on his contract extension.

Silberman scores for providing Fayette County with its biggest missing puzzle piece: leadership. It is here that Silberman's impact is felt most, permeating all areas of district activity.

He also scores for keeping his commitment to the district in the face of other opportunities like education commissioner; albeit, with much bigger headaches, more travel, and a relatively small increase in salary. Clearly, at $212,479 Silberman is OK in the income department. He waived any increase to this year's salary. H-L reported,
For 2008-09, Silberman will get the same annual increase as other certified employees and changes to his benefits also will mirror those of other certified employees. He will get similar raises in each of the other three years of the contract.
He also showed the backbone to pass a tax increase to address, at long last, Fayette County's large and growing facilities problems.

And there isn't much of a downside. True, there have been some grumblings in the education community about Silberman's decision-making in a couple of personnel matters; most notably at Harrison Elementary and the persistently curious situation at Booker T Washington Academy. But taken as a whole, the ledger is tilted heavily in favor of Silberman and the board was correct to renew his contract.

Photo by former Herald-Leader photographer Janet Worne. (We miss you in Ky.)

This from Lisa Deffindall in an FCPS press release:
Four more years
Superintendent requests no salary increase

Fayette County Board of Education members voted unanimously Monday night on a four year contract extension for Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman. The contract, which at Silberman’s request does not include any salary increase, would run through June 30, 2012.

“I feel blessed and honored to continue to work with such a great group of people who truly care about kids,” Silberman said. “The rubber hits the road in our classrooms and our teachers are taking the steps needed to bring all of our students to proficiency. I look forward to the work ahead.”

When Silberman took the helm of the Fayette County Public Schools on July 1, 2004 he publicly made a commitment to serve the district for at least a decade. He is now in the fourth year of his first four year contract. Monday night’s board meeting was the earliest the school board could offer him an extension.

“Fayette County is blessed to have a superintendent of caliber of Stu Silberman. … He is obligated to this district and he is here for the long haul,” said Fayette County Board of Education Chairman Larry Conner. “He has assembled a leadership team that has brought this district from mediocrity to excellence.”

During his tenure with the district, Silberman has been praised for raising student achievement, restoring trust with the community, assembling a strong leadership team and focusing the district on students. Major accomplishments in the past three years include posting record-breaking gains on the Commonwealth Accountability and Testing System and No Child Left Behind, developing and implementing 2020 Vision, garnering community support for district facilities needs, trimming more than $4 million out of the district’s annual central administrative budget and moving
district communications from an area of weakness to one that has earned state and national awards.

Under Silberman’s leadership, district operations have been streamlined, and the school district has implemented a zero-based budgeting process for the first time ever, which enabled leaders to build a balanced budget without budget cuts for the second straight year, despite several unfunded state mandates. The gains being made in Fayette County under Silberman have been recognized across the state and nation, as shown by the fact that he was aggressively recruited for the state commissioner’s post and regularly receives job inquiry calls from school districts around the country.

School board Vice Chairwoman Becky Sagan thanked Silberman for ignoring recruitment efforts and staying with Fayette County.

“Our work is not done in Fayette County,” she said. “We’re going to show that every child can learn, every student, every school can achieve at high potentials. And Stu is the leader to get us to that. So Stu, I thank you for the willingness to accept the contract extension and stay with us and bring us to the greatness that we’re getting to.”

When Silberman was hired in 2004, he was the fifth Fayette County Schools superintendent in three years.

In August, Silberman received all-distinguished ratings on his annual evaluation and was granted an annual salary of $212,479 for 2007-2008. His new contract allows for the same annual increases as other certified employees receive and, as provided by Kentucky statute, will renew annually unless the board votes not to do that.

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