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BOE Renews Superintendent Nathan Parker's Contract

As the BOE reorganized and replaced two outgoing board members, Superintendent Nathan Parker announced that he felt "humbled" to have his contract renewed.

Superintendent Nathan Parker has a new contract with the Summit school district, according to comments made by outgoing board members, and Parker himself, at last night’s reorganization meeting.

The terms of Parker’s new contract aren’t clear at this time, but it’s assumed he had to forgo any bump in pay due to a state salary cap. His previous contract was set to expire at the end of June. “I’d like to express my appreciation and my humility for my contract being renewed,” he said during the reorganization presentation. “It’s truly humbling.”

Given the cap placed on superintendents’ salaries last year by Gov. Chris Christie, it was not a given that Parker would stay on.  According to an NJ Spotlight  article, the cap, which is $175,000 for superintendents in districts close to Summit’s size, has driven some administrators out of New Jersey.

“I think he’s taking a bit of a financial haircut staying in this district,” said former board president and outgoing board member Thomas O’Rourke. O’Rourke said Parker was taking anywhere from a $35,000 to $40,000 “differential between what he was making and what the state lets him have.”

 According to state data, Parker received a base salary of $222,560 in 2010, well over the new state cap.

O’Rourke said the district was fortunate to have Parker stay on board.  “It tells us what he thinks of the district, the schools,” said O’Rourke. “We’re honored that he would think we’re worthy of him staying on.”

In other news: Two new board members, David Dietze and Elizabeth Ann Burton, were appointed to the board.  Previous board vice president George Lucaci moved into the president’s post vacated by Michelle Stevenson, while Gloria Ron-Fornes became the new board v.p.

Also, contract negotiations with the  have ended, with the board reaching an agreement on teacher compensation after lengthy discussions.

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