Fenton superintendent gets 5-year deal

Updated 5/20/2011 6:05 PM
  • Kathie Pierce

    Kathie Pierce

  • Todd Leden

    Todd Leden

Fenton High School will be led by Superintendent Kathie Pierce for the next five years.

The school board unanimously approved a new contract for her and a four-year deal for Fenton Principal Todd Leden, who also serves as the associate superintendent for educational services.

Pierce has been with the district for more nearly two decades in various roles, and she became its first female principal in 2000. She will be paid an annual base salary of $168,642 next school year and is eligible for pay increases each year.

Other benefits include: health, dental and life insurance; retirement benefits; 20 annual vacation days in addition to district-scheduled winter and spring breaks; 370 sick days that can be used before retirement or paid out at $70 per day upon retirement; and continuing education costs.

Leden's contract includes similar benefits, but he will earn $138,713 annually and have 15 vacation days. His sick pay is structured like Pierce's, but will be paid at $50 per day.

In addition, both contracts state Pierce and Leden are each eligible to earn an extra $5,000 the year before retirement, which would enhance their pensions.

Board President Mimi Anderson, who took the helm after this spring's elections, said Pierce has proved her dedication and ability.

"We believe that she is doing a great job and believe that she has what it takes to address issues and decisions that need to be made at this time," Anderson said.

Leden has been principal since 2006, when Pierce took her role as superintendent, and he previously served as both Fenton's assistant principal and athletic director.

Challenges facing District 100, which comprises a half white and half Hispanic student population, include being on academic watch for the past seven years under the No Child Left Behind mandate. Its state report card shows more than 40 percent of its students are from low-income households and nearly 12 percent have special learning needs.

But under the leadership of Pierce and Leden, district officials said, Explore to ACT scores are increasing in all demographic groups. Also, students in Fenton's accelerated program are showing an 8.5 point gain on their ACT scores.

"We are showing extraordinary success with our middle and accelerated students, and we continue to diligently work with our special education and lower level students," said district spokeswoman Teri Wood.