U-46 board approves new 5-year contract for CEO

  • Tony Sanders

    Tony Sanders

Updated 3/4/2019 9:47 PM

Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders will continue to lead the state's second-largest district for five more years.

The school board Monday night voted 6-1 to approve Sanders' new contract, which includes a salary of $241,679 for him starting July 1. Any increase in base salary will be tied to accomplishing performance goals set forth in the agreement, which runs through June 30, 2024. Yearly increases will not exceed the state's statutory cap in effect at the time, school board President Donna Smith said.


Sanders has a master's in business administration and more than 23 years of public service experience, of which 12 were with U-46. The contract also provides for reimbursement of tuition costs for coursework required toward Sanders' earning a superintendent endorsement, Smith said.

The school board developed 13 performance goals for Sanders aligned with its vision for the future and the district's strategic plan. Priority is given to math education in kindergarten through sixth grade, school safety, and utilization of district facilities.

"They are very robust goals attached to this contract that Mr. Sanders is very excited to accomplish," Smith said. "And we are continuing to evaluate based on the performance indicators we have used in the past."

Board member Phil Costello agreed that the contract provides "concrete measures" toward making progress.

Board member Sue Kerr added the contract was "challenging" but good for the district.

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Board members agreed Sanders has done a good job since taking the helm after former Superintendent José Torres resigned in August 2014 to head the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Sanders previously served as Torres' chief of staff.

"We recognize the success," said board member John Devereux, noting that "we've got continued work to do."

Ensuring the district has a strong leader for the next five years provides some continuity, he added.

School board member Jeanette Ward cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she didn't support the length of Sanders' contract and favored a three-year extension instead so as not to tie the hands of future boards.

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