Longtime District 214 superintendent gets five-year contract extension

Longtime Northwest Suburban High School District 214 Superintendent David Schuler has inked a five-year contract extension that, when completed, will put him at the helm of the district for more than two decades.

Schuler, named National Superintendent of the Year in 2018 by a national superintendents organization, was in his mid-30s when he was hired in 2005 to oversee Illinois' second-largest high school district.

"Most superintendents when they're hired are already in their 50s. They work for five or six years, then they retire," said school board President Dan Petro. "I wasn't on the board at the time, but it turned out to be a good pick. He knows what he's doing. He's very well respected by his peers, his community and by his staff."

"He does a good job. In fact, he does an excellent job," Petro continued. "I applaud him for his commitment to the district. He wants to be here. He likes the people he's working with. So we're going to go forward."

The new five-year contract, which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2026, awards Schuler an annual base salary of $335,344.55. It represents a 4.5% raise, since he's currently making $320,903.87, according to the district's salary and benefits report.

Schuler is also eligible for salary increases based upon his performance evaluations, the contract states.

Under the agreement, the school board agrees to make a $43,000 contribution to a tax-sheltered annuity, and to pick up Schuler's contribution to the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System.

He's entitled to 20 days of vacation, four personal days, 37 sick days and 20 professional leave days a year, per the agreement. He also gets an $800 monthly automobile stipend.

According to meeting minutes released this week, the contract was unanimously approved by board members after a closed session April 8 - just two nights after a slate of board incumbents extended their long-held winning streak in local elections.

This election was particularly contentious, marked by the establishment slate and a challengers' slate of four parents who campaigned on a platform of quicker reopening of schools and increased transparency.

Petro has maintained the district is transparent and defended Schuler's handling of reopening during the pandemic.

As a performance-based contract, the agreement sets new goals and indicators for the district to attain under Schuler's leadership, after the board agreed Schuler met bench marks for student performance and academic achievement in the old contract.

The board reviews Schuler's job performance twice a year during closed sessions.

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