B.G. cuts two jobs to fund retirement

School district says next superintendent may hire new staff

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

Battle Ground Public Schools will finance most of its separation agreement with former superintendent Shonny Bria by leaving two top administrative positions vacant.

District officials announced Monday night that Battle Ground will not replace two retiring administrators during the 2013-14 school year, providing $296,910 toward Bria's payout.

Bria will receive $150,000 for each of the two remaining years on her contract. Her annual salary had been $154,699.

Bria also will get two years of medical coverage for her and her husband, costing $45,360. The two-year package totals $345,360.

The district said Monday that it will not replace retiring assistant superintendent David Gray, who oversaw teaching and learning, security and transportation. His salary and benefits totaled $168,752.

Barbara Baird, retiring director of student services, also will not be replaced. Her salary and benefits were $128,158.

Interim Superintendent Duane Rose and Lynn Hicks, interim deputy superintendent, who stepped into their roles Monday, also announced a combined cut of $50,000 in the board and superintendent's budget.

The total cuts, $346,910, would fund Bria's $345,360 separation package.

The former superintendent also can cash out $41,149 in unused vacation pay and $15,206 in unused sick leave. However, that vacation and sick-pay money — which bring her departure package to $401,715 — are standard compensation when any employee leaves for any reason.

New administration

There is another factor in leaving the two positions open, Hicks said Monday night. The school board hopes to hire Bria's replacement by April 1, 2014, and "We want the new superintendent to build an administration," Hicks said.

"Even though we will have a smaller staff at the district office, we will be working together as a team for the good of all our stu

dents, employees and the community as we pave the way for a new superintendent," Rose said in a news release.

Marcia Christian, assistant superintendent for human resources, will take over as head of teaching and learning. Linda Allen, director of human resources, will take over that department.

Other duties handled by Gray and Baird will be absorbed by other district administrators.

Minutes changed

In a meeting Monday afternoon, the school board voted to amend the minutes of an April 29 meeting that noted Bria's retirement, effective June 30, 2013.

At Monday's special meeting, the five-member board voted to supplement that note with: "Per agreement dated 4/29/2013."

Several high-ranking district officials had said last week that they hadn't known the details of the arrangement with Bria until it was reported Wednesday.

Following Monday's brief one-item public meeting, President John Idsinga said that the board members wanted to be clear about the intent of the action they took on April 29.