District 44 terminates superintendent's contract 2 years early
Lombard Elementary District 44 wasn't seeing eye-to-eye with its superintendent, so the school board on Tuesday separated with Michael Robey after two years of his four-year contract.
The board voted unanimously to end Robey's tenure effective July 1, paying him for one of the remaining two years on his contract, school board President Courtney Long said. Robey's base pay this year is $206,150, and his total compensation with benefits is $261,562.
"We're not seeing eye-to-eye on certain things, and we're not seeing eye-to-eye on the future of the district," Long said. "We really need some other leadership to lead us through this transitional phase."
The board also unanimously approved a separation agreement with Aldo Calderin, assistant superintendent for human resources and public relations.
Calderin's agreement, like Robey's, ends his time with the district effective July 1 and pays him through June 30, 2018, Long said. Calderin's base pay this year is $134,934 and his total compensation with benefits is $180,903.
Giving the administrators another year of pay was the "healthiest balance" for the district to strike in what Long described as a "mutual agreement" and an "amicable separation."
The parting of ways comes after Robey and Calderin each have spent two years with the district.
The board hired Robey, 53, of Plainfield, in late 2014, when he signed a four-year contract that was set to last through June 30, 2019.
He began his time as superintendent July 1, 2015, and hired Calderin, of Lombard, to begin that same year.
Long wouldn't specify any exact concerns with Robey's leadership but said there was no fault or wrongdoing. She said teachers, however, have been coming to the past several school board meetings en masse, and teachers were well-represented among a crowd of about 125 at the meeting Tuesday night in the Madison Elementary School gym.
Two educators representing the Lombard teachers union spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting, thanking board members for "taking so seriously our concerns" and quickly working to address the problems teachers brought forward.
"We're happy about the progress," Deb Holas, a fifth-grade teacher at Manor Hill Elementary, said before the vote.
After the board approved the separation agreements, Holas declined to comment further on any issues with Robey but said teachers look forward to working with the board to find the next superintendent and uphold District 44's reputation for quality education.
Reading from an email that will be sent Wednesday morning to all staff members, Long agreed.
"We look forward to a well-thought-out transition over the next few months," she said.
Robey and Calderin were not present at the board meeting Tuesday night. Long said they will work from home, and not from the district offices, until June 30.