FAIRLAND -- The Northwestern Consolidated Schools Board extended Superintendent Chris Hoke’s contract another three years at Monday’s monthly meeting.
Hoke (photo, left) is currently under contract through the end of the 2023-2024 school year but the school board wanted the superintendent in place to guide the school system through an anticipated transition period in the near future of retiring administrators, directors and educators.
“We think in the next three to five years there is the potential for a lot of change and turnover at our administrative and director level through potential retirements and as people move on,” said board president Todd Brandman (photo, right) at the meeting. “We wanted to have that continuity and consistency. Not only do we appreciate and thank Chris for the direction he has taken the district, but we want to secure him through those potential changes so we have some continuity.”
Hoke’s contract now runs through the end of the 2026-2027 school year. There is no compensation change associated with the tenure extension.
“We’ve had ten years of stability here in leadership roles, and I’ve been here eight and I’m not even the most tenured. … For a small school, there has been a tremendous amount of stability.” said Hoke. “Because of the ages the people are and where they are in their work careers, there is the potential for that same amount of instability due to retirements. What we’re trying to do is project forward and anticipate that and begin to train in-house, we have in-house talent, for people to step into roles in succession.”
Prior to the regularly-scheduled meeting, the school board met in special session to discuss the terms of the tentative agreement of the 2022-2023 teacher collective bargaining agreement.
The school board will meet in special session Thursday to formally vote on the agreement. Notable news per the agreement, Triton Central teachers will receive $1,300 more in base salary while the hiring scale for new teachers will increase by $550.
“This year was great. It went very smooth,” said Hoke of the negotiating process. “This year was easy. It took about one week.”
It took two meetings to get the process done, confirmed Hoke, now in his eighth year as superintendent of the Triton Central school system.
“I met with them one time informally to go over our financial data, to see what our enrollment is and what our funding is – an informational thing before we got into the bargaining phase,” said Hoke after the conclusion of the school board meeting. “Then there were two sessions.”
In other board business Monday, the annual eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. was approved for May 21 through May 26, 2023.
This year’s trip will be the 10th trek for Triton Central Middle School students that will include historical stops in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon.