Superintendent now under contract through Aug., 2018
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — John Sanville is officially staying on for another four years as Superintendent of Schools for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District — and while the entire Board of Education welcomed that fact, there wasn’t unanimous agreement on the terms of his new four-year pact approved Tuesday night.
Sanville, who took over as superintendent in Sept., 2011, is in the final months of his original three-year contract, is getting a new four-year-deal that calls initially for a 10% salary boost, effective in Sept., 2014. In the following years, the contract calls for salary hikes at the rate of the Act 1 index. The current rate for the 2014-15 school year is 2.1%, as an example.
“We hired John as a novice,” Board Finance chair Keith Knauss said. “We hired him at the bottom of the scale for Chester County superintendents.”
But now, Knauss said, Sanville has a nearly three-year track record of running the district, and has shown that he deserves comparable compensation to that of other superintendents in the district. Even under the new deal, Knauss noted, that Sanville would be seventh in pay in the county.
Knauss acknowledged that it might be difficult for district employees being asked to accept smaller salary increases to see such a hike, but noted that Sanville had been underpaid relative to his contemporaries — and was making less than his predecessor, Sharon Parker. The new deal is appropriate and, he said, arguably still under market value for a now seasoned superintendent.
Board member Eileen Bushelow, who made it clear that she strongly supported Sanville and wanted him to continue as superintendent, voted against the pact — saying she didn’t feel it was the best deal for the school district.
“But this in no way reflects how I feel about Dr. Sanville,” she said.
Bushelow ended up being the only no vote on the new contract which runs through Sept. 1, 2018.
Sanville, who has been part of the district administration since 2007, said the new contract was “humbling.”
“I’m appreciative to know that I’m part of such a great community,” he said.
In other district business, the board approved a contract with communications consultant David R. Voss to work with district on refining its overall communication, and specifically, among other things, its crisis communication plan. The deal runs through the end of the current school year — although Voss is responsible to get all of the specific tasks completed, and if need be, will be required to work longer to finish.
Again, there was a single dissenter, Kathleen Do, who felt that the deal would largely be a cosmetic fix for what should be a more detailed look at the crisis communications plan.
“In my mind, the crisis communications plan is the most important thing,” she said, expressing concerns a good plan might be the only thing preventing a panic in the event of some sort of incident at a district school.