JAY — School Committee members voted 4-1 Thursday with Dan DiPompo opposed to accept Superintendent Robert Wall's retirement as of Dec. 31 and to rehire him on Jan. 1, 2010.
Under the agreement, Wall will retire under the Maine Public Employees Retirement System and his salary will be frozen at its current rate of $91,219 through the end of his contract on June 30, 2012. He also agreed to give up a retirement bonus of 30 sick days, which is worth more than $10,000. The move would stabilize the administration at the superintendent level, Wall said.
The action came after about 40 minutes in executive session. DiPompo said after the meeting that he opposed because he had philosophical differences and changes he would have liked to have seen.
The board also voted 4-0, with Judy Diaz abstaining and student board member Kyle Hawkins in favor, to put a halt to hiring a full-time principal at the high school due to looming budget concerns with state revenues.
Instead, the board agreed to have the superintendent hire an interim principal to fill the position for the rest of the school year.
Eight applications were received for the principal position by the deadline Thursday. One of those applicants was interested in serving as interim principal, Committee Chairwoman Mary Redmond-Luce said.
Wall will contact the applicant to see if he is interested in interviewing for the position.
Screening of the applications was set to begin on Friday.
Prior to the decision, Redmond-Luce said she has been following the revenue status at the state level for education and it doesn't look like a "real, pretty financial picture."
"I think it would be prudent of us to put off hiring a full-time principal for the high school and wait until budget time to see what happens," Redmond-Luce said.
It also wouldn't be fair to entice someone to take the position and then have to cut it next year, she said.
Redmond-Luce, who is also on the consolidation committee looking at a possible Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls district, said by putting off hiring a full-time principal for the high school, it will give the administrations a chance to discuss resources and sharing.
The school consolidation representatives agreed to discuss the proposal and to work together with their school board and Superintendent Judith Harvey, she said.
Jay School Committee member Tammy Dwinal-Shufelt said she had concerns about already advertising for the principal position and getting applications and not hiring a full-time principal.
She asked if the intent to hire an interim principal was to have no high school principal next year.
Wall and middle school Principal Scott Albert are currently sharing those duties.
Redmond-Luce said that wasn't the intent. There would be a principal, it just wasn't known what the position would look like.
If an interim principal was hired, Wall said, it would give the two school districts a chance to work out sharing administration if that was the decision made.
It would be an opportunity, Redmond-Luce said, to see if the two district's could put something together so that no one would lose their jobs.
Diaz said she still favored a pre-kindergarten-through-sixth-grade principal and a seventh-through-12th-grade principal.
If the principal position is not filled this year, Wall said, Jay would receive less revenue for administration next year through the state funding formula.