Deal with new schools chief signed, sealed and delivered
By TOM MARSHALL
Published April 4, 2007
BROOKSVILLE - Make that superintendent Wayne Alexander.
The Hernando County School Board agreed Tuesday on a superintendent contract with Connecticut administrator Wayne Alexander. He will replace Wendy Tellone, who is retiring this summer after six years in the top job.
"I think we've got a good individual coming on board," said chairman Pat Fagan.
Meeting in an afternoon session, the board agreed to pay Alexander $119,000 per year on a two-year contract, with a provision for annual one-year extensions.
In addition, Alexander will earn a 5-percent contribution to the Florida Retirement System during his first three years; a $500-per-month allowance for in-state driving expenses; the full monthly cost of the district's health insurance premium for administrators; and $5,000 for relocation costs.
Including the retirement contribution, Alexander's total salary would be $124,950, nearly at the top of the board's advertised range of $95,000 to $125,000. The total value of the compensation package including benefits is $152,829, officials said.
Alexander, 46, who was picked March 16 by the board from a field of 37 applicants, initially asked for $121,000 a year, against the board's initial offer of $116,000.
A few board members favored taking a tougher negotiating line with Alexander, who currently serves as director of school operations and human resources in the 3,400-student New London Conn. Schools.
"Dr. Alexander has no superintendent experience, and he knows that and so do we," said Dianne Bonfield, arguing against a three-year contract.
But Fagan said the board needed to offer a competitive package to Alexander or risk losing him in a few years to higher-paying districts.
"The man is eager to work for Hernando County," said member Jim Malcolm. "(But) he's going to ask for more or head south."
Despite his lack of superintendent experience, board members said they were impressed by Alexander's demeanor and knowledge of the Hernando schools.
Board members briefly discussed the possibility of offering Alexander a district-owned car in lieu of the transportation allowance. But finance director Deborah Bruggink said the only vehicle available was a "mini-van that's used for driver's ed."
Alexander's first official day as superintendent will be July 1. He told the board he was willing to visit the county earlier in the spring to meet with Tellone and district staff if necessary.
The board was expected to take a formal vote on the contract at its regular Tuesday night meeting.
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431.