On Tuesday, the Plymouth Community School Board held their first meeting of 2024 and reorganized with the election of officers.  The board voted to retain the same officers as last year, Allie Shook President, Kurt Christiansen Vice President and Nicole Christy Secretary.

Former City Attorney, Sean Surrisi was introduced as the new legal counsel for the board.  Surrisi replaces Jeff Houin who had to resign his position to become the city attorney.

A public hearing detailed the new contract for Superintendent Mitch Mawhorter.

The proposed contract has a base salary of $140,000 with an annuity of $8,400 for his Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA) plan.  The superintendent also gets a $3,500 vehicle allowance, a $900 technology allowance, $27,204 contributed to his group health, dental, and vision plan along with a life insurance plan of $399.  The contract includes $800 for association memberships for a total of $184,213.

The contract provides for an automatic increase on January 1st of each year by a percentage equal to the highest percentage salary increase given to any corporation teacher under the most recent Master Contract, up to a maximum of 4%.  The Superintendent must receive a rating of Effective or Highly Effective from the Board’s evaluation to qualify.

The new contract allows 40 days of paid time off, which may be utilized as sick days, personal days, or vacation days, at the Superintendent’s sole discretion. The Superintendent shall also receive those other generally recognized holiday breaks provided for all staff members in the school calendar.  

Laura Kruyer, president of the Plymouth Education Association (PEA) was the only one to speak during the public hearing.  She suggested the school board explain the procedures to negotiate the superintendent’s contract.   She said, “The transparency law is important. It lets the public know the information and what is being proposed but where that transparency law lacks is the reasoning behind it and that is even more important.”   

Kruyer said the contract has an increase of about $12,000 which is about a 9% increase in salary.  She also mentioned a change in sick days, personal days, and vacation days saying leave days, doubled from 20 to 40 and that an explanation would be beneficial. 

The public hearing was comments only with no responses from the school board. 

The school board will act on the proposed new contract for Superintendent Mawhorter at their next meeting.