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updated: 8/19/2014 1:00 PM

New CEO, superintendent, teacher deals in U-46

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  • Kenneth Arndt, left, and Tony Sanders are the interim leadership team at Elgin School District U-46 in the wake of the departure of Superintendent Jose Torres. Arndt was appointed interim superintendent, and Sanders was appointed the CEO handling day-to-day operations.

      Kenneth Arndt, left, and Tony Sanders are the interim leadership team at Elgin School District U-46 in the wake of the departure of Superintendent Jose Torres. Arndt was appointed interim superintendent, and Sanders was appointed the CEO handling day-to-day operations.

 
 

The Elgin Area School District U-46 school board Monday night officially appointed Kenneth Arndt as interim superintendent and Tony Sanders as chief executive officer for the school year that started Monday.

Arndt and Sanders replace Superintendent Josť Torres, whose last day at U-46 is Sept. 12. Torres is leaving to become president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

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Arndt will be paid $650 per day for a maximum of 100 days -- as allowed by the state pension code for retirees -- between Sept. 15 and June 30, per the contract. Arndt will not receive any other compensation or benefits except for reimbursement of expenses.

He will serve in that capacity until the board finds a permanent replacement for Torres after an executive search, school board President Donna Smith said.

Sanders will be paid $210,000 for the current school year. However, Sanders' contract runs Aug. 19 through June 30, 2017. Sanders' base salary could increase, unless he returns to his previous position as chief of staff to the superintendent after this year, per the contract.

Sanders was making more than $170,000 a year as Torres' chief of staff.

Smith said the board will evaluate Sanders' performance annually based on goals set forth in the contract.

"He will report directly to the board while he is CEO," Smith said. "When the new superintendent is hired, Tony will return to his position as chief of staff. He will then oversee the transition to the new superintendent."

The chief of staff position will remain vacant for the current school year, Smith added.

The contract also contains a provision that Sanders must live within the district's boundaries.

Sanders, who has worked in U-46 for seven years, said he requested the three-year contract for stability and continuity. He has said he will work toward getting his Illinois superintendent's certification and hopes to be hired for the job afterward at U-46.

School board member Veronica Noland opposed Sanders' multiyear contract because she felt it would "hamstring" the district.

"We are not allowing the (next) superintendent that flexibility to create his own leadership team," she said.

The school board also approved a new three-year teachers contract Monday night.

The Elgin Teachers Association's roughly 2,500 members voted 1,292-587 last Friday to approve the 2014-2017 contract. The previous three-year contract for U-46 teachers expired Monday, when classes started for the current school year.

The new contract, which runs through the 2016-17 school year, includes a base salary increase of 1.5 percent in the first year plus an extra 1 percent increase to compensate for additional days teachers spend on collaborative activities and meetings.

Increases in the following two years would be based on the Consumer Price Index plus a half percent bump for the 2015-16 school year and another 1 percent increase for additional teacher time, and Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent for 2016-17 with no additional teacher time compensation. The combined increase would be no greater than 2.8 percent for 2015-16 and 3.8 percent for 2016-17, per the agreement.

For the full text of the teachers contract, visit theeta.org.

It was Torres' last school board meeting. He received a plaque from the Gail Borden Public Library trustees for his efforts to promote reading and use of library cards, and thanks from school board members for his leadership.

"Thank you to the board and community for your trust," Torres said. "I think we made some tough decisions along the way. You can be proud of all the things that your employees have accomplished. Certainly, there have been a lot of growth opportunities and expansion of programs."

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