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Education

Wheaton-Warrenville District 200 approves extending superintendent's contract

The Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 Board of Education has approved a new four-year contract with Superintendent Jeff Schuler.
The Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 Board of Education has approved a new four-year contract with Superintendent Jeff Schuler.

WHEATON – The Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 Board of Education has approved a new four-year contract with Superintendent Jeff Schuler.

The performance-based contract will run from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2022.

Schuler started with the district in 2014 at an annual salary of $225,000. No district administrators, including Schuler, received a salary increase for the current school year. Schuler requested the board keep his current $238,586 annual base salary the same as the 2016-17 school year to be consistent with other administrator contracts.

During their Dec. 13 meeting, board members voted 6-1 to approve extending Schuler's contract.

The contract calls for the board to increase Schuler's salary annually to keep pace with inflation. In addition, he has the opportunity to earn an annual performance bonus – not to be added to his salary – of 2 percent of his base salary if the board deems his overall performance rating to be "excellent." If his performance rating is judged to be "proficient," Schuler will receive an additional annual base salary increase of 1 percent of the prior contract year's annual base salary.

Performance goals include increasing the college and career readiness of the district's students, achieving long-term financial stability and promoting student learning.

The new contract also calls for Schuler to receive a one-time board contribution of $10,000 if it is extended again at the end of his contract or $5,250 if it isn't.

Voting against the contract extension was board member Jim Gambaiani.

"Dr. Schuler, during your time as superintendent, you have done a solid job in providing direction and leadership for this district," he said, in reading from a prepared statement. "My prepared comments tonight regarding this resolution are specifically related to certain elements within the proposal, not your performance."

Gambaiani contended Schuler's contract should include the elimination of automatic annual salary increases. He noted the district is facing many financial challenges, including securing additional funding for a new early learning center as well as building maintenance and capital improvements. And he said the district could face additional financial challenges, including a property tax freeze and changes to the school funding formula.

"Because of these financial challenges, I will not support the resolution to extend the superintendent contract as currently written," he said.

Board member Jim Mathieson, however, said he thought the new contract was "a very reasonable and appropriate contract and will reasonably motivate Dr. Schuler to provide continued leadership for the community."

Board Vice President Brad Paulsen said Schuler came to the board to voluntarily freeze his salary for the current school year.

"We accepted that as a board," Paulsen said. "It was you that came to us with that."

President Jim Vroman said the extension of Schuler's contract will provide stability to the district "going forward."

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