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.

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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