School chief starts at $134K

Superintendent to start at $134,000

The contract for employment signed between newly hired Granville Superintendent Mark Bessen and the Board of Education will pay the new district leader a base salary of $134,000.

The three-year and-eight-month agreement begins when Bessen takes his chair at the new district offices on Nov. 2 and continues until June 30, 2013.

Bessen will be compensated $86,667, pro rated for the remainder of the 2009-2010 school year concluding June 30.

The agreement contains language that allows Bessen to continue with his duties in the New York Army National Guard.

The contract states under USERRA or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 Bessen can be temporarily replaced with an interim superintendent should he be deployed for longer than 30 consecutive working days.

“During an military leave absence in excess of 30 days, any compensation as set forth … herein and any benefits set forth … shall be suspended and not paid or provided to Mr. Bessen,” the contract states.

Bessen will receive 23 days vacation for full years and be credited with 15 days for 2009-2010.

The contract also contains provisions for an annual 4 percent raise.

The district will pay 80 percent of the health insurance premium for individual coverage and 100 percent of dental coverage and states Bessen must have a yearly physical. The district also pays $1,000 annually toward a life insurance policy but does not contribute towards a tax sheltered annuity although Bessen will be eligible to enroll in the district’s plan.

Bessen must move into the district on or before Dec. 31 of 2010; the agreement said he will be compensated a maximum sum of $4,000 for moving expenses upon receipt of a voucher detailing those costs. Bessen will be provided with a district laptop computer for his use.

Also included in the contract is a sum of $50 per month to cover the cost of use of a personal cellular phone provided by the superintendent for school business use.

Former Superintendent Dan Teplesky received $150,800 in salary during his final year in the position following a salary increase of $10,400 in the form of a scheduled raise and an adjustment that drew criticism from some community members.

Teplesky later chose to forego a $6,032 or 4 percent raise pending in the current budget. Teplesky told the Sentinel he informed the board he wanted the sum left out during the development of the budget for fiscal 2009-2010 considering the state of the economy. During an interview after word of his accepting a position at another school district broke, Teplesky said he thought he had risen to the maximum salary the district could pay and noted examples of the rising costs of bringing in a new superintendent around the region. The spring hiring in Cambridge of a candidate without a doctorate or experience at a salary of $136,000 as well as a candidate in Schuylerville who was also without a doctorate, but with experience, at a salary of $145,000-$150,000 showed superintendent salaries across the board had steadily been on the rise.

Initially Teplesky was hired with no experience as a superintendent for $105,000 five years ago. Teplesky will make $157,500 in his first year at the larger 2,200-student Ravena Coeymans Selkirk School District with scheduled 4 percent raises.

 

 

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