Public called to discuss school superintendent

The public is asked to take part in discussions about a proposed new contract for the Seymour school district’s superintendent.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 15 during the regular monthly school board meeting at the administration office, 1638 S. Walnut St. At that time, parents, teachers and any community stakeholders can voice their opposition or support for the contract.

By state law, school corporations must make public how much the superintendent is paid in both salary and benefits, according to school board President Art Juergens.

In May 2013, Superintendent Rob Hooker entered into a three-year contract with an annual salary of $114,923. It was the same amount the previous superintendent, Teran Armstrong, made before she resigned.

Besides pay, other annual benefits included in the current contract are 20 paid vacation days, 30 sick leave days, with an additional 12 sick days added in the second and third years of the contract, and five personal business days.

The corporation also agreed to pay Hooker $13,668, which the superintendent could take as additional salary or use to cover health insurance costs. There is a technology stipend of $1,200 included in the current contract in lieu of the district providing the superintendent with a cellphone, data package and service plan.

Hooker’s current contract will end in May. Any changes to the contract, including an increase in pay, will have to be approved publicly by the school board.

School board member Nancy Franke said the process of approving the contract is misleading.

“The call for a public forum in no way indicates we have a concern with our present superintendent,” she said. “Our superintendent has proven himself as an outstanding administrator within our school corporation.”

Juergens said he feels Hooker has made important positive changes in the district that have helped it move forward.

“He has done a tremendous job,” he said of Hooker’s job performance. “Everything is going good, and we want to stay on that track.”

Juergens said Hooker and district business manager Steve Nauman have helped put the schools in a good position financially so the corporation can continue to grow.

“They have been good stewards of our money so that we don’t have to raise taxes,” Juergens said.

If you go

What: Public hearing on a proposed new contract for Seymour Community Schools superintendent

Where: Administration office, 1638 S. Walnut St., Seymour

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 15

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.