The School Committee on Tuesday voted to buy out former superintendent Lynne Celli's amended contract, $82,500, for part-time work.
The former superintendent will no longer have a position or authority in the district, School Committee Chairman Rick Kraft said.
The chairman said the agreement was struck after both former superintendent Celli and the new interim superintendent, Garry Murphy, recognized potential redundancies between their two positions.
The chairman said the buy-out was in the interest of consolidating the district under the leadership of Garry Murphy.
This agreement between the committee and Lynne Celli needs only to be delivered to the School District so the chairman can sign it. The chairman said the district will have the signed agreement in hand Wednesday.
About $72,000 remains on her contract and will be paid weekly, the chairman said.
The chairman said that the district was obligated to pay the money remaining under the former superintendent's amended contract for special projects.
While most employees work at the will of their employer, certain positions, including superintendents and CEOs, work under contracts that, typically, are honored unless a major violation takes place.
The part-time work that was to be Lynne Celli's responsibility will now be the responsibility of the interim superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Pam Angelakis — at no additional cost to the district.
In February, the School Committee and superintendent had hammered out an amended contract that called for Celli to work for the district in a half-time position as executive superintendent for special projects in the 2013-14 school year.
The superintendent's special projects work started July 1, 2013. Responsibilities included the following:
- work on the district's elementary school building needs project
- pursuing Chapter 70 and other state and federal funding
- pursuing grant funding
- alignment of curriculum including STEM programs
After the committee took their buy-out vote on Tuesday, Interim Superintendent Murphy thanked the committee for their support.
Committee members including Ted Delano said the district has already made strides under the interim superintendent and the path is clear for this to continue and benefit students.
School Committee member Marianne Hartmann said she expects the public will have questions about the committee's action Tuesday, and she encourages people to reach out to the committee via email or phone calls to ask questions and make comments rather than speculating in blogs.
Below is a copy of the statement read at Tuesday's meeting by Chairman Kraft:
"Last winter the School Committee and Dr. Celli established a creative arrangement that would allow the schools to call upon her expertise while the district moved forward under new leadership. This change was structured to incur no additional cost to the school budget.
In implementing this arrangement, however, Dr. Celli and the new superintendent, Dr. Murphy, have quickly come to recognize potential redundancies between their postions and they have determined the district will operate most effectively when responsibility is consolidated under the district's new leadership. As a result, Dr. Celli has relinquished her role as Executive Superintendent for Special Projects. The district will honor its remaining contractual obligations ad thanks her for her devoting her efforts to improve our schools."
Editor's Note: The original version of this story said that the chairman was awaiting Lynne Celli's signature on the contract. The contract has been signed, and the district is awaiting the delivery of it.