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Vernon School Officials Release More Details on Superintendent's Contract

A raise was voted in on Monday.

Vernon public school officials have made available the new contract for Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway, which was signed on Monday at a Board of Education meeting.

It is attached.

The board voted a 2.25 percent increase to Conway's base salary of $156,800.

It is for the current fiscal year, retroactive to when it began on July 1.

Vernon Patch had requested a copy of the contract. It is considered public record under Freedom of Information law.

Elle Smith Fagan October 24, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I am so sorry - this whole thing makes my alarms go off. The recent low marks - Connecticut's "bottom thirty" - for the school system should have cost a few people their jobs , not won them more money with a promise to do better. Confusing and suspicious in all directions. I am not the expert commentator here because I am not an educator, and may not understand exactly what is happening and can only trust Patch and others to help the clarity of the scenario. Don't let us down for data: I worked in private, Catholic and public schools always, and did PR and research for School Redistricting for socio-racial issue in the South in the 70s. I love children and education - some of my old teacher friends are still friends , though separated by time and space. Like many of your readers, I know that the area's issues are nothing to play with and I care.
meowkats4 October 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Very well said Elle!!! Yes, I would say this is very confusing and suspicious in all directions, because I know there is more going on with spending then any of us knows!! Transparency is not being done in Vernon, nor is the towns officials being honest with the Parents, Tax Payers of this town! I only hope the Patch will be on our side (the Tax Payers) when it comes to letting us know what is going on and not allow a Town Council or Mayor and/or other officials dictate what we should know and NOT know!!
tdm October 24, 2012 at 04:28 PM
All I can say is WOW! It is unbelievable what a majority of the board voted for in this contract. There have been several executive sessions regarding this contract. It was not just on the agenda. I have been attending board meetings for three years. Generally the room is empty unless a hot topic is involved. I can't say this enough - there needs to be community representation at all meetings, Many on this board need to remember who they represent. Next November I sure hope voters remember and vote new representatives in to figure out how to address Vernon's challenges and limit raises when job performance does not warrant them.
Elle Smith Fagan October 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I read the contract - fairly easy. But my overall feeling is the same. It is 2012 and it is supposed to be even easier to do it right by our children and to fail them is to fail the future and hurts ourselves. I hope this new contract brings some really fine enlightening breakthroughs for the obstacles that cost decent ratings recently.
Bert October 24, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Let's remember that the much of what landed Vernon in the bottom 30 was not under this superintendent's watch. This didn't just happen overnight. It is going to take a lot of work to move education forward. Dr. Conway came in the middle of this and she deserves every penny she makes to turn this around. We would all be better served if we knock off the adversarial stance and start to work together. Teachers buying supplies for their classroom is nothing new. Actually, many teachers send home lists of things that parents may donate. It is not about spending more money on education. If money were the answer, the Hartford School system would be the best in the state. It is flush with money, and it suffers with the same problems. You must have skilled educators, from the top down. close to 90% of the Vernon school budget goes to salaries. Dr. Conway's salary is commencerate with her responsibility. Regarding the votes on the BOE, don't you wonder about a board member who is alway at odds with the rest? When you think that you are always right and the world is all wrong, maybe you need to reevaluate yourself!
meowkats4 October 24, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Bert are you a baby boomer? We had more children attending schools throughout this Nation! We did not have less supplies, we did not have to go home with a big list that we needed to teach us! We even had more schools around back then. Teachers were not lead by BIG Boards of Education nor where they told how to teach. They were professionals and knew and took great pride in TEACHING their students. Our Public School Systems are failing all over this country, by BIG GOVERNMENT interference and those that serve on the Boards of Education with grand salaries that don't even teach a child! I don't blame parents at all for home schooling their children because Public School Education is in the toilet. Throwing our Tax Dollars at the higher level is not going to make Education any better!!!
Nancy Krupienski October 24, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I'm happy with a Board of Education member who doesn't go along with everyone else. It means they are doing their job. Sometimes you need to stand up for what is right even if you are the only one standing. What good is a board member who just votes along with everyone else? Where exactly has this thinking gotten us Bert? Sorry kids, hang on to your rubber duckies while the school system plummets down the drain. The majority of this board has been in place while the system numbers went down so you can't blame it all on the previous superintendent take a good hard look at the board members who have been sitting there watching it all happen. Most parents, including myself are donating supplies and more importantly our time to our kids. It's apparently ok for Vernon to be just like corporate America...big bonuses up at the top while cuts are made everywhere else.
tdm October 24, 2012 at 07:52 PM
There is more than one board member who questions. On the contract vote 2 voted no. One member left before the executive session started. The problem is that board members who have questions are ignored or treated differently than those who do not question and assume all information being given to them is accurate. It is disturbing to me that our district has seem little to no improvement in the time Conway has been at the helm. She received 4% last year in a raise and another 2.25% this year. As a taxpayer I want to see bigger moves in improvement before anymore raises are given out to those working in central office particularly since many were here under the interim Vernon had before Conway. If you are going to talk the talk of high expectations then expect to be held to the say accountability by the taxpayers. Bert I do not recall seeing you at many board meetings. I must be missing you while I am there. Would love to meet you.
Elle Smith Fagan October 25, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I walk daily thru my my downtown studio neighborhood and jog, and I observe. Then I decide - if things are clean and shiny, and the pace of things really doing what it should, to me that means everyone is doing as they should, and the energies are nice and healthy. In that case, and no one needs me to reprise my old Joan of Arc role, and I often stop myself from critical remarks even when I feel I am in the right. However... :-D
Elle Smith Fagan October 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Thanks Bert! I did not know - I believed, incorrectly, that the issue WAS the good work or lack of work on the part of the current Superintendent - Thank you for clarifying...that is what comment if for.
Bert October 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
What??? Board of Education members do not get paid "Grand Salaries!" They get no pay at all, nor do members of the town council! . They give their time freely. Also, you cannot compare education in the world of baby boomers or even people who graduated from highschool in the 80's or 90's. If you are a baby boomer then you will know how fast this world is changing. Looking back is not very useful right now in this issue. We almost have to try and predict the future to even stay halfway current.
Bert October 25, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Tanjua - No you will not see me at BOE meetings. I prefer to watch them on TV, I can hear better. Nancy - Yes, we don't want a "rubber stamp" BOE but you need to keep an eye on those who are "always" at odds with the rest. There are times when there are decisions to be made that are repugnant to "everyone" but there is no alternative. Many times, the one or two that hold out can do so because they know that the group will make the hard choice and do what has to be done. We have a pretty intelligent group on the BOE right now who are grapling with obviously serious issues. But beware of those members who are always at odds with everyone and see if they really ever get much done. Everyone abstains or disagrees at times, but when someone's trademark is a lone NO vote, you've got to wonder. Just saying......
Paul Stansel October 25, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Lord I wish BoE members got paid ;). For that matter I wish my current job gave me retroactive raises...

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