Naperville Unit District 203 board members came to terms Monday with the interim superintendent who will lead the district through at least June 2013.
As interim superintendent Dan Bridges, currently the assistant superintendent for secondary education, will get a 65 percent pay increase from his current $137,500 to $210,000. The district will also provide him with a monthly $650 travel stipend and his entire contribution to the Teachers Retirement System pension fund.
"I'm excited to be getting to work. We've got a lot of work ahead of us and I'm ready to get going," Bridges said after the contract was approved. "It's a very fair contract that represents the work to be done. I'm gong to work my hardest to live up to it."
Aside from his salary, the interim title and one additional term, the contract is similar to the contract currently held by outgoing superintendent Mark Mitrovich.
Board President Mike Jaensch said the board agreed to give Bridges 10 personal days toward the completion of his doctorate in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.
"He's in the final stages of completing his doctorate, so in recognition of that and wanting to encourage him to complete it we're giving him 10 days of personal leave solely for completion of his doctorate," Jaensch said. "He's so far along, it wouldn't make sense to postpone it."
Bridges also holds an endorsement for superintendent from the state. He has a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education from Millikin University, a master's degree in educational leadership from Aurora University, and a degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.
Bridges began work in Naperville in July 2011 after a lengthy career in West Aurora School District 129, where he held a number of leadership positions, including principal at the elementary, junior high and high school levels and district athletic director.
Since arriving in Naperville, Bridges established Tip203, an anonymous reporting line, oversaw the principal evaluation process related to school reform Senate Bill 7 and was a key player for the Enrollment Capacity Study Committee as it made its final boundary recommendation earlier this spring.
"It's safe to say that everyone I've talked to is excited about moving forward with Dan and I don't think there's any doubt in the board's mind that Dan is the right guy at the right time for this job," Jaensch said. "If he's the long-term answer, we'll have to wait and see."
Jaensch said the district has begun interviewing superintendent search firms to aid with finding Mitrovich's long-term successor. The selected firm would then begin the search at the beginning of the school year. He said he expects Bridges to be considered for position but Bridges is protected should he not be selected.
"If we go with a different superintendent at the end of the year or in-between, (the contract) guarantees him a job equal to or greater than his current position," Jaensch said.
Bridges officially takes over on July 1.