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Article updated: 2/8/2013 9:42 AM

Grayslake Dist. 46 boss gets contract extension

By Bob Susnjara

It took three votes since last fall, but Grayslake Elementary District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll has received a contract extension.

Correll will receive her current $170,844 base salary in the one-year extension that expires June 30, 2014, school board President Ray Millington said. She has a total compensation package of $213,083 for the 2012-13 academic year.

District 46 board members at a meeting Wednesday night voted 5-2 in favor of extending Correll's employment through the 2013-14 academic season. Motions to grant Correll's contract extension last October and November failed both times because board members voted 3-3 on the matter.

Board member Shannon Smigielski voted against Correll at the past two meetings, but she supported her Wednesday. Smigielski said Correll went "above and beyond" to keep parents and others updated about issues surrounding a three-day teachers strike in January.

"I really appreciated Ellen's effort and everything she did during the strike and in the months leading up to the strike, getting information out to the parents," Smigielski said. "I wear my parent hat first because that's my priority."

Smigielski added it would have been difficult to expect four new school board members, who will take office after the April 9 election, to immediately begin a superintendent search.

Board members Kip Evans and Michael Carbone voted against Correll's contract extension Wednesday and at the other two meetings.

Carbone and Evans said it would have been preferable to officially approve new contracts for the teachers and support staff employees before addressing Correll's deal.

"Think about the public perception and how our staff are going to look sometimes when you put something on the agenda like this," Carbone said.

"It is important to have (Correll's) contract secured so (she is) comfortable, too, but employees and staff should come first."

Hired in January 2005, Correll came to District 46 from Corning Painted Post School District in upstate New York, where she had been an assistant superintendent of instruction.

Correll's supporters have pointed to improved student academic performance and her ability to navigate through millions of dollars in budget cuts since 2009.

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