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New superintendent gets $237,000 annually, signs 3-year contract

By KBell
June 21, 2012 at 1:21 a.m.
Updated June 22, 2012 at 1:22 a.m.


PRINCIPAL SWITCH-UP

The Victoria school board hired two current assistant principals to lead two VISD elementary schools next year.

Melanie Reed, the current assistant principal at Rowland Elementary, will be the principal at Chandler Elementary next year.

Mary Noble, current assistant principal at O'Connor Elementary, will be the principal at F.W. Gross Elementary.

NO BOARD SWITCH-UP

Each year, the Victoria school board votes on who will be its president, vice-president and secretary.

This year, the board agreed to keep its current leadership to maintain stability with the new superintendent coming in.

Their positions remain with Tami Keeling as president, Bernard Klimist as vice-president and Estella De Los Santos as secretary.

Dozens of educators in the Victoria school district turned out to meet their new leader Thursday night.

Robert Jaklich, the former superintendent in Harlandale, signed his contract at the board meeting, officially making him VISD's superintendent on July 1.

"Quite simply, we got the right person. Welcome to Victoria," said Bernard Klimist, the board's vice president.

Jaklich's three-year contract gives him an annual salary of $237,000, which is all-inclusive, meaning the contact does not divvy up costs for things such as a car or cellphone allowance, said Board President Tami Keeling.

"Basically, we advertised the position (saying) we were going to pay competitively to get the right person," Keeling said. "Looking across what is competitive in Texas for this size district and for an experienced superintendent with a track record that he has, that is dead on the money."

Jaklich's salary in Harlandale was $175,000 a year, with a transportation allowance of $1,200 a month. Superintendent Bob Moore, who is leaving VISD because of health concerns, was making a base salary of about $191,000 a year.

The new contract also allows for $25,000 in moving expenses. Jaklich said he and his wife will move to Victoria immediately and settle in an apartment before finding a house.

"We'll move here and focus on getting to work in Victoria. We'll take care of the housing issues later. Let's take care of the kids first," he said.

One of his first tasks will be squaring away a budget for the new school year. At Thursday's meeting, the board got its first look at next year's budget.

When factoring in about $4.5 million more in taxes from increased property values, VISD is looking to be in good shape, despite decreased funding from the state.

The district plans to keep the same tax rate it's had the past two years, which is $1.3226 per $100 of valuation. Adding to its bottom line will be funding for increased average daily attendance, which budget documents estimate conservatively at about 150 more students next year compared to last.

With the budget balanced, the board anticipates being able to offer pay raises, though the exact amount won't be clear until the budget is further sorted out. VISD froze salaries last year after losing about $8 million in state funds.

The board will review several budget drafts throughout the summer.

In the meantime, Jaklich said he's excited to get to work.

"There are 612 square miles in VISD, and we're going to have 612 square miles of excellence," he said.

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