District readies to hire next leader

HOPE — The new superintendent for Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. is expected to be introduced two weeks from tonight on Feb. 17.

Fourteen candidates applied to fill the position being vacated this summer by Dr. Kathy Griffey, who announced her intention to retire Oct. 7.

Four finalists — all residing in the Midwest — were interviewed for the position, school board president Steve Wilson said.

After a committee of both current and retired teachers, as well as past and present school board members, made their selection from among the finalists, a contract was negotiated with the leading candidate, Wilson said.

The FHSC Board of School Trustees will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. today on terms of the negotiated contract prior to their regular meeting. The hearing will take place in the board room adjacent to the central office at 9423 State Road 9 in Hope.

The three-year contract posted on the FHSC website would provide the new superintendent a first-year salary of $100,000.

After committee members examined superintendent salaries at 30 other school districts comparable in size, they learned the average salary was just over $98,000, Wilson said.

Griffey’s salary was increased to $103,441 in March.

Under the proposed contract, the corporation agrees to pay for the superintendent’s personal health insurance, valued at $14,280 annually.

Additionally, $750 also will be placed annually into a family health insurance plan, according to the posted contract.

“The health insurance package is no different from any of our other administrators,” Wilson said.

If the new superintendent completes work on a doctorate degree, the top FHSC administrator will receive an additional $2,000 beginning in 2016, the contract states.

But future raises would be based on evaluations of performance conducted by the school board before the end of each calendar year, Wilson said.

If the superintendent is evaluated as less than effective, no raise would be given the following year.

An evaluation of “effective” would provide the superintendent the same percentage pay increase as the teachers, while a “highly effective” determination would add an additional 0.5 percent increase to the salary, the contract states.

The school board reserves the right to schedule a second review in May, prior to the end of every school year.

Special care was made to ensure equal representation of both elementary and high school teachers on the selection committee, Wilson said.

Griffey, a Shelbyville native, first came to Hope in 2010 to replace Philip Deardorff.

While the 67-year-old has been with the district for only five years, Griffey’s retirement will mark the end of a 44-year career. Most of that career has been spent in a variety of administrative posts.

What's next?

Terms of a proposed contract with the leading candidate for the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School superintendent will be discussed during a public hearing tonight.   

The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the board room at 9423 State Road 9 North, Hope.   

If there are no substantial public or board objections, the new superintendent is expected to be introduced to the community during the Feb. 17 school board meeting.  

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.