AUBURN — After complaints that the School Committee planned to fast-track the renewal of Superintendent Katy Grondin’s contract, officials this week hit the brakes on the process.

Auburn Superintendent Katy Grondin presents her 2015-16 school budget to the School Committee at Auburn Hall. Lauren Schneiderman/Sun Journal

The panel canceled a planned executive session this week to discuss Grondin and instead agreed to follow a procedure for contract renewal that’s been in place for years.

“We’ve all felt uncomfortable, including the superintendent” about moving too quickly on a possible new contract, board member Bonnie Hayes said Wednesday, “So we are slowing it down and doing it right.”

Alfreda Fournier, the mayor’s representative on the board, hailed the decision.

“This is what I had been asking for,” she said, adding that she is “very happy to see this.”

Robert Mennealy, another board member who had fretted about the effort to put a new contract in place too fast, said he was happy about the wait.

“We can do this in a straightforward way,” he said.

The board plans to survey Grondin and its members about their thoughts in time to “put everything together” in early October for review. The School Committee won’t act on a possible new contract until at least late November.

Grondin’s three-year pact, which will pay her $132,000 next year, expires in June. She’s been at the helm of Auburn schools since 2011, leading the successful effort to convince the city to build a new Edward Little High School, a project approved by voters in June.

State law requires that school boards meet no later than Dec. 31 of the year preceding the expiration of the superintendent’s contract to elect someone for the position by majority vote. The law requires contracts to extend for no more than five years and for terms of office to end June 30 of the specified final year of the pact.


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