The School Board of Alachua County will vote on the new interim superintendent’s employment contract at tonight’s regular meeting.
Carlee Escue Simon, Ph.D., was chosen from among seven candidates whose names were submitted by the School Board ahead of a special Board meeting held Friday, December 4 to discuss the selection of an interim Superintendent.
Dr. Simon has 10 years of instructional and curriculum experience in the K-12 setting, having worked as a math teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity, Florida and at P.K.Yonge Developmental Research School and as a subject matter expert for the Florida Virtual School, the statewide online school, according to her biography.
Dr. Simon currently holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Florida and is completing a second Ph.D. at UF in Design, Construction and Urban Planning, with a focus on addressing educational equity. She has also earned state certification in Educational Leadership, Engineering and Technology Education and Mathematics.
Dr. Simon is both a graduate of Alachua County Public Schools (Eastside High School) and the parent of three children attending local schools.
“She has a clear vision for the district,” said School Board chair Dr. Leanetta McNealy. “Her expertise will help guide us through many challenges of budgeting and financial constraints, and she has a history of being a strong collaborator, which will be a plus in welcoming interactions with the community.”
Dr. Simon says she will be listening to the ideas and concerns of teachers, staff, families and the community at large.
“We need their voices,” said Dr. Simon. “The district doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and if we are going to make progress in addressing some of our most stubbornly persistent problems, such as our unacceptably wide racial opportunity gaps, we need to meaningfully engage the community and other stakeholders.”
The agreement for employment states that Dr. Simon, “shall have charge of the administration of the school district of Alachua County. The Superintendent shall provide supervision directly and indirectly to all staff members, and employees of the Board, and shall organize, reorganize, arrange, and direct the employees of the Board, as he deems to be in the best interests of the District and subject to any approvals required by the Board or law, rules and regulations.”
Compensation, according to the proposed contract, includes a base annual salary that will be calculated on a prorated basis for the remainder of the fiscal year through June 30, 2020, and shall be $160,000.00. The monthly compensation will be $13,333.
“The Superintendent shall receive compensation at her usual monthly rate described in this paragraph for all work performed prior to the adoption of the Agreement by the Board,” the contract states.
The superintendent will earn two days per month of paid vacation. “Any earned or accrued vacation days not used in one fiscal year will not be carried over to the next year. The Superintendent may allow accrued days to be paid out at the end of her employment Agreement pursuant to the terms and conditions of the School Board policy, in the same manner as a twelve (12) month administrative employee.
The superintendent will be granted 10 days of sick leave at the commencement of the agreement for and during the term of employment. Any unused portion will be payable on the last day of the Superintendent’s employment at 50 percent of her current daily rate of pay.
Dr. Simon will also receive an automobile allowance, a phone and a credit card for expenses incurred carrying out her duties the contract states.
“The Board shall provide the Superintendent with a monthly allowance of Five Hundred and No/100 ($500.00) Dollars for business use of the Superintendent’s automobile which may be used to fund car payment, automobile insurance, care, maintenance, fuel, or travel expenses in the Superintendent’s discretion. In addition, for other travel related to the performance of her duties, the Superintendent shall be reimbursed for out of county mileage, lodging, meals, and such other expenses as Florida law permits and shall be paid in accordance with the state law guidelines for such travel for the reimbursement of public employees and officers.”
The contract calls for exclusive employment and remains in effect from the date it is adopted by the Board, to and including June 30, 2021.
“However, this Agreement may be terminated earlier at any time by a majority vote of the Board,” the contract states.