Superintendent to Earn Half Current Salary

In addition, the district plans to spend about $85,000 — based on an annual salary — for an interim superintendent


Superintendent Lynne Celli is scheduled to earn $85,000, or half her current $170,000 salary, in her new position as executive superintendent for special projects.

The superintendent announced her new role at Wednesday's School Committee meeting. The superintendent said the change was initiated by the School Committee but she was amenable to it since it is consistent with her future plans.

After the meeting, when asked why the change was taking place, both the superintendent and the chairman of the School Committee, Larry Beaupre, declined to say any more than what was presented in the superintendent's statement.

The School Committee released a statement of its own on Thursday.

You will find it at the bottom of this post.

Also, you will find the contract, which is public information, attached to this

post as a pdf.

The superintendent's special projects work starts July 1, 2013. Responsibilities will include 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

The superintendent plans to retire from the Swampscott School District on or before the contract's end date, June 30, 2014.

School Committee members said they hope to hire an interim superintendent without spending any more money than the district would have spent had no changes been made.

" ...  we will keep the combined cost of both the interim Superintendent and Dr. Celli’s new position very close to the current year’s cost of a single full-time Superintendent," the committee said in a statement released by the chairman, Larry Beaupre.

On Wednesday Business Manager Ed Cronin presented the School Committee a list of proposed cuts — of slightly more than $1 million —  to level fund schools in the coming 2013-14 school year.

If the district does not receive additional Chapter 70 funding, as has been proposed under the governor's budget, and they must go forward with a balanced budget, than the district plans to reduce staff and increase class sizes.


School Committee Statement:

The Swampscott School Committee and Superintendent Dr. Lynne Celli have developed a process to provide for an orderly transition in the Swampscott School Superintendency.  As announced by Dr. Celli on Wednesday, she and the Committee have reached an agreement that she will assume the role of Executive Superintendent for Special Projects on July 1 2013.  The School Committee will immediately be conducting a search for an Interim Superintendent to begin on July 1, 2013.  This will provide an opportunity to develop a more extensive search and recruitment process for a permanent Superintendent.

The draft budget presented to the School Committee last night by the Superintendent and Budget Director included cuts that would be necessary if the town funded the schools next year with the same dollar amount they provided this year (“level-funding”).  While we hope that additional funding (whether from an increased Chapter70 allocation or elsewhere) will materialize and make these cuts unnecessary, we must also plan for the worst case, which is no increase in funding of the schools.

The draft budget presented last night was prepared before the arrangement for Dr. Celli to move to a new, half-time, position was in place, and none of the cuts proposed in that budget are a result of the change in Dr. Celli’s position.  (The budget presented presumes paying the Superintendent a similar salary to what is being paid this year.)  While we are still very early in the budget process, and many uncertainties remain, it is the Committee’s expectation that by employing a part-time and/or retired former superintendent as an interim, we will keep the combined cost of both the interim Superintendent and Dr. Celli’s new position very close to the current year’s cost of a single full-time Superintendent.  

The School Committee looks forward to working with Dr. Celli as Superintendent through this school year and as she continues her efforts to continue to benefit the school system.

powderpuff79 February 08, 2013 at 09:56 PM
yes it sure sounds like someone (or SOMEONE, as Sandie Bock would say) is trying to hide something (HIDE SOMETHING)
Sandie Bock February 08, 2013 at 11:21 PM
What is all the talk about Celli being the Supretendent of "The District"? The district is what, the town 4 elementary schoos, Middle School and High School?? JEEZ, why are they calling it a district, its hardly a job that would make one break a sweat!! Take Boston, now that is a job for a Superintendent. This woman has the town buffaloed for sure. She obviously was not doing the job needed to be done and her contract stopped her from being FIRED so her she will sit until a new person is assigned to take over the school system. I bet Swampscot will hire a team of people from outside of the town to find a good candidate. Swampscott must have lots of money to burn, and by the way, whose pockets are being lined buy all these do nothing jobs??? There has to be a reason of the top secrecy, you can be sure if Celli were doing great job it would not be such a secret. IF it were I, I would move on to avoid the criticism, inunendo etc. Stay and take 80 grand to do NOTHING is criminal and it just seems demeaning to herself and to the town. Ms Celli, just admit you bit off more than you can chew and move on. Swampscott has not been feather in your cap for sure!!
homebody February 08, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Why does the fy13 budget posted on the school department's web site list the Superintendent's salary as 162,500? Did she get a raise along with the boot? Nice job School Committee.
Barbara Katz February 09, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Wake up people! It would have cost the school system thousands more to engage in a long drawn out lawsuit with Ms. Celli, as surely she would have pursued had she been fired. She is all about her image, not "all about the children" . If it were about the kids, she would have quietly packed up and left. Between the "forensic" issue and Mr. Watson's sudden departure, maybe the school committee is smart enough to see when it's time to "clean house" with people who don't care about the kids or Swampscott, just their paychecks. Sounds to me like there are serious problems which we apparently aren't privy to as taxpayers. I, for one, feel like the school committee is working hard to bring Swampscott back to a system to be proud of! Don't blame the school committee for having the guts to do what needs to be done and what they were elected to do!
Sandie Bock February 09, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Swampscott was a big fishing town back in the day. Today it just smells like rotting fish with this Superintendent isue. This whole situation stinks and stinks bad!!
homebody February 09, 2013 at 12:46 AM
I would rather pay for a legal settlement and be done with it than pay well over $100,000 to a mannequin for the next 16 months
A+ Schools February 09, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Well...Here are Ms. Celli's evalutions. To my eyes, they look mostly very positive, especially when compared to other superintendents in other towns. Celli's hIring notice - yes the Nurse sat on the Hiring Committee, thank you: http://goo.gl/dsvWP School Committee evaluation 2011-2012 school year, http://goo.gl/r5nEZ School Committee evaluation 2010-2011 school year, http://goo.gl/rzaxQ Unless something monumental occurred since the end of 2012 school year, it appears to be a power play and personal issues with the School Committee. Regarding the ex-principal at SMS, he is out and if the Swampscott PD investigation found anything, he would he been charged. Also, for the people who say hire from within, it's not that simple. A superintendent needs to be certified and should have some experienced. Being a teacher or principal does not make a superintendent. Bottom line, there are two seats up for election in April, who's in?
Barbara Katz February 09, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Allen, in regards to the ex-principal and nothing being found, do you really think a forensic auditor would need to be brought in for "sloppy bookkeeping?" I'm sure the town accountant is competent enough to determine the difference between sloppy bookkeeping and possible criminal acts. I really doubt a forensic auditor would have been brought in for disorganized bookkeeping. No one knows whether it was criminal or not -- could have been criminal and someone decided to sweep it under the rug rather than tarnish the Town of Swampscott, if it were made public that something was going on right under their noses. Seems like everyone is worried about being sued, so much so that we would rather send the "bad people" on their way and become another town's problem! Let's not tarnish the reputation of this wonderful seaside community, God forbid!
David Matela February 09, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Just a couple of thoughts/reflections after reading these posts. First, public service appears to be a thankless job. There are not many people who stand up and throw their towel in the ring. And for those that do, their success depends upon many factors such as where are you from, and what district do you live in. It usually has very little to due with where you stand on the issues. That is a sad state of affairs. The botton line is that there are two people who have pulled papers to run for school commitee and they are incumbents. To me that says they care. That's the first step. The second step is for the voters to vote for what a candidate stands for and nothing else. Take stock in what has been happening with our school system, ask questions, educate yourselves, and vote for what you believe is in the best interest for the kids. The rest should take care of itself. As for the financial aspect.....isn't it obvious by now that we are paying way too much for what we are getting?
Lenny February 09, 2013 at 03:03 PM
There are plenty of teachers with the appropriate amount of certification to apply for the superintedants post. But you seem to be missing the point. We have hired person after person with these advanced administrative degrees and certifications from outside the district, using search committees, advisory firms, etc and what has it gotten us? How many more superintedants do we have to chose using this hiring model before it finally dawns on us collectively that it has been a failure? And you couldn't be more incorrect than to say being a teacher or a principal does not make a superintendent........NOT being a teacher or principal with a significant amount of time teaching in the classroom should disqualify any candidate for a superintendent's position. We have the talent here in Swampscott and we need to promote it.
Uncle Leo February 09, 2013 at 04:02 PM
I strongly disagree with the posters who have been criticizing our school committee. Beyond the fact that they are volunteers who care deeply about this town, they are privy to much more information than we are. It is very easy to post uninformed comments but try to stretch your imaginations and put yourself in their shoes. We have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and despite the expectations that as tax payers we are entitled to know everything, the reality is quite different. We do not have a right to know everything. We elect the SC to know everything and represent us. If you don't like this, then run for SC yourself. I'm sure you will then discover that life is quite complicated and cannot be summarized and solved by the message contained in a non-sensical Patch rant. Other comments: 1. I've seen many references to Swampscott once being one of the very top school systems in the state. Beyond perception, was this ever a reality? How was it measured? I came through the school system here and though considered good, are memories clouded by time? 2. Please no more transient professional administrators (i.e. Celli, Malone, Millington, Watson etc). Hire from within. No more mercenaries please. 3. Let's not overestimate the importance of these administrators to our children's education. What happens in the classroom between teachers and students and what happens in the home between parents and children is far more important to a child's education.
Whisky February 09, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Dones - about your point #2: Is there really such a thing as a long term committed administrator anymore? Are we being too romantic about it? Are the folks most skilled at convincing a volunteer search committee by their nature always clawing their way to the next level? Worked for Malone!
Sandie Bock February 09, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Barbara Katz- I think it is pretty clear, they are AFRAID of being sued. There must be many more mistakes made that they must keep secret and if sued, those secrets come to the fore. Money missing, Celli abruptly fired and given an $80,000 grand to sit and dittle. Here is a novel idea, Forget getting a Superintendent, have the principals run their schools, have the School Committee do the budgets, town lawyer and accountant help with that task. Seems like Swampscott has not had a real superintendent for years!!! So way waste money. OUST Celli, let her sue! The townspeople deserve better than what they are getting. So far as Swampscott being #1,2 or 3 highschools in MA. I am not sure how they measured it, but was in the Boston Globe each year or so. Swampscott, Marblehead and Westwood MA were always 1,2 and 3. Not sure where Marblehead stands, don't care but know that Swampscott is way lower, Westwood, Dover-Sherborn, Wellesley are in the top 10 high schools. IT is important for the kids to get teh best of the best and the tax rate in Swampscott is so high, the kids should be able to get a great education. They are not getting their money's worth. What is going on is a crime really, a forensic auditor is a good idea to get to the bottom of the possible mismanagement of the middle school principal. Come on, get your big boy and girl pantes on and do your jobs as you were voted to do.
John February 11, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Heard today that the Basball Coach walked for greener pastures ... True ??
A+ Schools February 18, 2013 at 02:25 PM
What is next for our illustrous school committee? First, they fire/force to resign/enter your personal favorite explanation here, the Superintendent of Schools. Then the chairman decides not to run for reelection. Now, it is apparent that the Jaren Landen (one of the misguided three) has held meetings with Principal Millington AND spoken with a majority of the executive team and several teachers in the Swampscott schools to gage their opinion on placing Millington in the role of Superintendent. This type of behavior should not be accepted. Again I say Terry, please investigate.
Whisky February 18, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Maybe I'm naive - isn't that what these folks are SUPPOSED to do? ...has held meetings with Principal Millington AND spoken with a majority of the executive team and several teachers in the Swampscott schools to gage their opinion ...
Mike Jalbert February 18, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Read the articles!! He lives in Danvers, teaches in Amesbury and has a young family. 15-20 minute commute from Amesbury to Masco vs. near an hour to Swampscott plus shorter ride to home from practices. Finally, Saturday AM games, easy for family to attend, for a true family man (he most certainly is) this is an enticing element.
BigBlue4Eva February 18, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Mike, Did the baseball coach just take a teaching job in Amesbury? Did he just move to Danvers? Did he just have a baby? The answer is no to all 3 questions. He deserted his team at the last possible moment. He was never going to coach the team this year. The program has already taken a step in the right direction with his departure! I hope the next guy has a proven track record and is someone who will work to bring the program back to the level it was at when this guy took over.
Jackie Kinney February 18, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Not exactly, Whisky. Under the Education Reform act passed in 1993, School Committees set the educational policy for the district; they are responsible for hiring (and firing) the Superintendant; and they vote to approve tne contracts of Assistant Superintendants and the Business Manager. The SC does NOT promote Principals in the district; by legal statute, that is the purview of the Super. If any members of the SC are making a back-door deal with Mr. Millington to become Interim Super as alleged by "Allen", they are engaging in behavior that is illegal under Ed Reform, and a serious breach of ethics. If Mr. Millington wishes to be considered for the position of Interim Super (or Permanent), then he should declare himself a candidate for the job and go through the same vetting/interviewing etc that any other candidate would - and just as Mr. Salzer did a few years ago when the district was looking to hire a permanent replacement for Dr. Malone. He cannot be appointed to the position by fiat now that there appears to be a power vacuum at the top, with Dr. Celli's change in role. The absence of a full time Super does NOT mean that the SC runs the district. Another point to consider - the SC made a big show of begging Mr. Millington to stay on as Principal at the High School, and all spoke of the excellent job he was doing, and how important continuity in this job is to the district. Why, then, are they promising to move him OUT of that role to Interim Superintendant?
Sandie Bock February 18, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Would someone please explain to me why we are calling the small school system of 4 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school, a District? Sounds good but it is a small system with not that many kids. I would make the principals responsible for their schools and the performance of those students until such time as you can have a qualified, committed, person for the job of Superintendent. This is not brain surgery people, the Superintendent is like a sheep herder but really it is the principals who should be responsible to their students and the parents and if things are going south, then the Super should fire the principal or teachers who are not cutting the mustard and move on.
powderpuff79 February 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Sandie what do you want to call it? it doens't matter what you call it, the town has to hire a superintendant by law. and your not telling me you want our elected volunteers runnign things? really?
Whisky February 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Thanks, Jackie. I appreciate your taking the time to explain this. I know you know what you're talking about. I was less concerned with the content of the writer's allegations - and I always take them with a grain of salt - as I am about what exactly CAN a school committee do? Legally; ethically? It is clear that despite every new candidate's campaign promises and administrative promises of more transparency and communication, there is noticeably less of each with each new committee, super and principal. Seems each incoming wave finds something left behind by the previous folks that must be kept hushed up, and must also keep quiet about what they might do to remedy the secrets to which they've suddenly become privy. Is it not legal for SOMEONE to say - "OK - here's what's been going on, and here's what we hope to do to fix it."
Jackie Kinney February 19, 2013 at 12:28 AM
As a matter of information for whomever cares to read this far down in the comments, here, in a nutshell, is basically what School Committee members CAN do: Hire and fire Superintendent and Business Mgr. Vote on contracts for Asst. Supers. Develop yearly goals and objectives for the Super and the District (yes, Barbara, it is a "district" - not sure why you are so fixated on the term, but that is how the state refers to every community's school department and schools - as a district.) Develop policies that the district must follow (e.g. the policy for Internet usage in the schools) Negotiates and/or approves the contracts for all employees within the district (collective bargaining) Here is what the SC CAN NOT do: Do the job of, or otherwise act as the Superintendent Promote, hire or fire Principals Dictate what curriculum is to be taught when, how it is taught, or what materials are used to teach it. (e.g. The SC sets a goal that says "All students must be taught cursive writing by 5th grade." They do not determine the when the teaching of cursive begins, how it is taught, or the method that is used - that is up to the Superintendent and staff, who then need to demonstrate to the SC that they are meeting the goal.) Discuss matters involving discipline of personnel publicly. This is just a short list, but I hope it helps those reading to understand a little better what it's like being on the SC. Not easy.
Sandie Bock February 19, 2013 at 03:05 PM
I was just saying that without a Superintendent you could have principals run their own schools and I am sure they would do a great job!!! IF it is a state law that every school system(district) have a Superintendent then so be it but goodness sakes, get someone how is NOT a legend in their own mind!! They are talking about cutting teachers if the budget at State House is cut, yet they are paying Celli her salary and benefits for doing what? NOTHING!! Something stinks about this and like I said before, Swampscott was a big fishing town at one time long ago, now it stinks of rotting fish with this Superintendent story. The School Committee is NOT at fault really if the contract was written so as to protect this Celli woman and have to pay her as they are but then dump her like the waste( of money) she is when the contract is up. Why was she given good evaluations if she was so bad?? Craziness!!! School Committee are all volunteers, not professionals. They depend on the professionals for legal and budgetary help. Where were those professionals?
Jackie Kinney February 19, 2013 at 03:12 PM
A School Committee meeting has been scheduled for tonight, 7:00a at the HS. I would suggest that those of you on this thread that are upset about the situation with Dr. Celli go to that meeting to voice your opinion, and also to hear what is on the agenda to be discussed tonight. Take it from one who knows, they do not normally schedule SC meetings on vacation weeks - you all may be very interested in why they have scheduled this one.
Glenn Paster February 19, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Great comments Jackie. To reiterate, not only is it rare to have SC meetings on school vacation weeks, it is nearly unprecedented. Sandie, all Superintendent contracts in MA have very similar language. Like the MTA, superintendents have a strong association, http://www.massupt.org/. Additionally, the reason for the protective language is the nature of the job. Every year the Super has potentially one or two new bosses. Unfortunately, some people want to become SC members for their own personal agenda. Remember, 3 votes and the Super can be removed WITHOUT cause. The contract language is their protection. All SC's ask their Super's to run the district 24/7/365, increase test scores and run $24,000,000 business, (our current budget). All this, plus have a doctorate degree (personal preference) and work with a staff that is inherited. Sandie, I do squarely place the blame on those SC members that voted to remove the Superintendent without forethought of next steps or repercussions. Also, for those who say hire from within, there are not many individuals that have the educational background, experience or desire to be a superintendent; it is a very difficult job. Lastly, Sandie you ask, ‘Why was she given good evaluations if she was so bad?’ Good question. The obvious answer, Dr. Celli was and is doing a very good job. As Jackie suggested, please attend the SC meeting tonight if you are interested in the why’s/when’s/next steps.
Barbara Katz February 19, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Glenn, weren't you on the SC when she was hired? Gee, I wonder if that's why you defend her, because you don't want to look bad for hiring her. Also, I'm tired of hearing of these "personal agendas" that people run for office for. Is that why you were on the SC? Did YOU have a personal agenda which you completed and then decided not to run again? hmmmmmmmmmmm -- goes both ways. I, for one, believe these members ran for the good of the school district. Maybe they know more than we do. I am going to continue to believe that we DO have good people in the district who care about the community and the schools and run for office. I understand politics can be nasty, but not everyone who runs for office is out for themselves.
Glenn Paster February 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Barbara, I did absolutely had a personal agenda. It lasted less than one SC meeting and until I attended the new school committee members multi-day symposim that is required by the state. The reason I did not run for reelection was due to professional and family reasons. However Barbara, I stayed involved and I current serve on the School Building Committee. Barbara, Dr. Celli was the best candidate for superintendent at that time. She was fully vetted by a Search Committee (inwhich Marianne Hartmann current SC member was a participant). I personally evaluated Dr. Celli only once and that evalution is public record, as are all superintendent evaluations, for your review. That evalution was mostly positive, along with areas of recommendations. She has been evaluated atleast twice since that time, and according to published reports, have been positive with areas of suggestions. The one area we all need to understand is that Swampscott is a moderate sized school district. There are similar and larger districts that pay much more than Swampscott and have bigger professional challenges. The days of having a one superintendent for 10, 15 or more years is a bygone era.
VITALE February 19, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I have to agree with Barbara as it does appear that Glenn has something to prove as he was on the school committee who appointed Dr Celli and from what I have been able to find out it appears they made a bad choice. I heard the school committee never even did a site visit at her previous schools. Is that true Glenn? Did anyone actually go? My other comment is for Allen Aka Mary You say to Terry that you want him to investigate but do you really want to hear the truth. Are you really ready to hear the truth? You seem to know a one sided explanation but I have been hearing other sides. You may want to talk to some people outside of the Celli Camp for a change. And for Jackie. I appreciate your explanation of your version of how a school committee should operate however remember you were not reelected so not sure you did everything just right. You talk about ethics in your explanation but during your reign was it you that approved the agreement which allowed Dr Celli to have the bash at her Nantucket home which was then billed to the town. I heard it was a training hmmmm really. Again WHAT HAPPENS IN NANTUCKET STAYS IN NANTUCKET. Not for long that story is out and all over town. Which committee approved her lavish trainings in exotic countries not this committee people so looks like this committee is doing the right thing finally give them all a handshake.I'm proud to have you working for our town. The truth is out there people dig for it.
Sandie Bock February 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Glenn, evaluations are not always what they appear to be!! Sometimes, bosses etc give a good evaluation because they do not have the b--ls to not do so, or because ti could cause a monetary loss to the Super if not the best of evaluations. From the stories of parties at the Nantucket home and charged to the town and many other stories of less then stellar performance etc. I would say, she should have been given a time to find another job and sent on her way. She seemed to be a Legend in her own Mind. Let her find another job, she may be great on paper, and let some other town have her, this town has not gained by her that is all there is to it. When I went to Swampscott High, Jack Pateur was there at the same time, we were one of the best of the best High Schools in the state, now 49th. THAT is not good! I cannot be at the meeting tonight as it I have other meetings to be at and this meeting was not announced til late. Hope it reveals what should be revealed.


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