Quakertown School Board Approves New Superintendent Contract and Proposed 2014-15 Budget
School board officials on Thurs., May 8 finalized the hiring of Dr. Bill Harner, new superintendent of the district with an 8:1 vote.
Board member Bob Smith was in opposition of the terms of the 4-year contract stating, "I have real heartburn with this contract. Some of it goes beyond the dollars. Negotiations played out one hour before this meeting. We don't have a written document or contract to look at just some notes. I think the salary is higher than what we should've paid."
Details of Harner's contract were provided with salary stated as $175,000 per year with potential for increase through a bonus pool consisting of $12,000 based on performance. It was also noted that former superintendent Dr. Lisa Andrejko's salary was 12.1% higher than Harner's which, in turn, will save the district money.
Director of Human Resources, Nancianne Edwards, was also promoted to Assistant Superintendent during Thursday night's meeting by way of unanimous vote. Harner explained he made the recommendation for Edwards' promotion stating she will specifically be supervising the cyber school program and hardware technology of the district.
Edwards, who has been with Quakertown school district for 11 years, will fulfill a 4-year commitment in the new position with yearly salary being $148,000.
Harner stated, "We're keeping the strong team we have together but expanding on that."
Dr. Suzanne Laverick-Stone will remain in her position as Assistant to the Superintendent, Harner also explained.
Business administrator and Treasurer Bob Riegel presented officials with numbers for the proposed 2014-15 school budget of $96.3 million and 2.1% tax increase. The tax increase will change the millage rate from 143.92 to 146.94, with the average increase to taxpayers being approximately $79 based on a residential assessment of about $260,000.
The final budget vote will come to the board on Thurs., June 12.
Officials are also looking to create an ad-hoc committee regarding school security measures in the event of a live act of school violence.
Board President Paul Stepanoff appointed himself chairman of the committee and spoke specifically of the goals to be met as establishing preventative measures as well as a plan if an act of violence would occur. Stepanoff also revealed the committee will not be permanent but dissolve after the goals are accomplished.
Officials have discussed in prior meetings the need for a police officer present in the high school and, per Harner, are working towards that as well.
The next scheduled school board meeting is set for Thurs., May 22.