CR school board approves pay hikes for superintendent

WYOMING — By a 3-1 vote the Caesar Rodney School District Board approved a modification to Superintendent Dr. Kevin R. Fitzgerald’s recent new contract that includes $5,000 pay raises each year from 2020 to 2023, and a pro-rated increase in 2019.

Board member Scott Wilson was the lone dissenting vote Tuesday night at the special public meeting, explaining “My opposition was that I feel that the administration should receive the same percentage raise that teachers get … That’s been the case in past history.

“It’s a simple thing for me and not a knock on the Superintendent Dr. Fitzgerald or any other administrators, but in fairness to teachers because they’re just as important as anyone else.”

Voting for the modification were board President Jessica Marelli and Vice President Mike Marasco and David Falling. Attempts to reach those members and Dr. Fitzgerald for comment Wednesday were not immediately successful.

Dr. Kevin R. Fitzgerald

Mr. Wilson said he believed the public should at least be aware of the recommended contract modification terms before the school board voted on it. He noted that board members are elected to represent the interests of taxpayers within the district.

According to Mr. Wilson, a handful of citizens during the open public forum, speaking out mostly in favor of the contract modification.

CR teachers are in the last year of their contract, according to Mr. Wilson, and negotiations are upcoming.

In another board action Tuesday night, a motion to table the search for a new member was approved. Interviews were conducted, Mr. Wilson said, but no decision made,

According to 2017 state payroll records, Dr. Fitzgerald received an annual salary of $169,936.01. Ten other public school administrators make more than that.

Dr. Fitzgerald was named 2018 Superintendent of the Year by the National Association of School Superintendents and 2018-19 Administrator of the Year by the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals. He is the longest serving superintendent in Delaware, taking the position in 2007.

On Friday, the Delaware State News filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details of the superintendent’s most recent past contract and the one modified Tuesday.

Last week, Ms. Marelli said the board wanted to assure Dr. Fitzgerald remained superintendent until at least the completion of district-wide construction projects. Also, she said while Dr. Fitzgerald “has received some salary adjustments, the board feels that it is important to bring it up to date …”

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