Clark-Pleasant considers pay hike, renewable contract for leader

A new contract for the leader of Clark-Pleasant schools would continue without end until school board members vote to change or end it.

On Tuesday, the school board conducted a public hearing to consider updating the contract for Superintendent Patrick Spray, who was hired as the school district’s leader in the summer of 2013. Spray’s current contract is set to expire in 2016; the board is considering extending the expiration date to 2017, and adding language so that the contract could automatically renew annually.

The board would need to provide written notice by June 30 if members did not want to keep Spray as the superintendent or wanted to change the contract.

“We wanted to put something in place that would automatically renew (the contract) under the same terms, unless we decided to change it again,” board member John Venter said.

The new agreement calls for a 2.8 percent pay hike to help cover his insurance costs. Spray’s current annual salary is $140,000, and under the new contract it would increase to $144,000.

His insurance also would change. Spray gets about $22,000 credit that he can use to pay for medical, vision and dental insurance. Under the new contract, the school district would enroll Spray in a high-deductible health plan, and the $4,000 increase in the superintendent’s base salary to help pay for the deductible. Financially, Spray would be paid about the same, Venter said.

As superintendent, Spray hires employees and creates policies that affect the education of more than 6,200 Johnson County students, and oversees about 400 teachers. The board has been pleased with the policies and goals Spray has set to increase standards for students, including plans pitched last year to ensure more students are earning multiple college credits before graduating high school, Venter said.

Spray also has been essential in helping Clark-Pleasant move forward with building projects at the high school and in planning for others that might happen in the future, Venter said.

Earlier this year, the school board approved spending up to $3.5 million to renovate the athletics fields at Whiteland Community High School. Those upgrades will include adding artificial turf at the football stadium, adding lanes to the track and creating a newly paved practice field for the marching band.

Recently, the school district received an updated study of all of its facilities, and Clark-Pleasant should receive an updated report in a few months detailing how much growth it can expect over the next decade. Spray will help lead discussions with school officials and community members, some of which should start later this year, about how best to handle the growing number of incoming students and what new building projects to start and when.

“We’re happy with the progress that’s happening,” Venter said. “We look forward to his leadership in our steps for growth.”

Earlier this year, Franklin’s school board approved a $10,000 raise and contract extension for Superintendent David Clendening; Center Grove superintendent Richard Arkanoff got a $30,000 raise and a contract extension at the end of 2013.

By the numbers

Here is a look at the salaries of other local schools superintendents:

Center Grove Superintendent Richard Arkanoff: $187,622

Clark-Pleasant Superintendent Patrick Spray: $144,000 if approved

Edinburgh Superintendent William Glentzer: $94,348

Franklin Superintendent David Clendening: $149,500

Greenwood Superintendent Kent DeKoninck: $135,263

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson Superintendent Tim Edsell: $105,000