Last week the Marlboro School Board unanimously approved a new contract with Superintendent Michael Rydell that will run from February 1, 2024 through January 31, 2029.
Rydell’s present base salary is $228,500 for the 2023-24 school year (pro-rated) and will increase each year of the contract by 3% provided that he receives an average score of 3 or greater on his annual performance evaluation. At the end of the contract (1/31/29) Superintendent Rydell will have been paid a total of $1,249,526.
Each year Rydell will contribute 20% towards the cost of his health insurance premiums, which will be deducted from each paycheck. If he opts out of the insurance program, he will receive a payment of $5,000 in each year of the contract but he is required to show proof in writing of alternate coverage by June 1 of the school year preceding the buyout.
For Rydell to be covered by health insurance into retirement, he must serve a minimum of seven consecutive years as Superintendent, must qualify for retirement as a member of the NYS retirement system and retire from the district into the NYS retirement system.
As per the contract, the Superintendent will be reimbursed by the district for all district related travel expenses if he uses his own vehicle, provided he submits an itemized log for such travel.
The district will pay the Superintendent’s annual dues for membership in the American Association of School Administrators, the NYS Council of School Superintendents and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and all reasonable expenses for his attendance at conferences at the local, state or national level, with the board’s prior approval.
The district will provide the Superintendent with a laptop and a tablet with universal WiFi capability at the district’s expense. Additionally, the district will reimburse the Superintendent $50/month for use of his personal cellphone.
The district will allow the Superintendent to participate in the Section 125 plan. This plan is part of the IRS code that enables and allows employees to take taxable benefits, such as a cash salary, and convert them into nontaxable benefits. These benefits can be deducted from an employee’s paycheck before taxes are paid.
The district will provide the Superintendent with paid time-off for all national holidays in the school calendar. The district will also contribute the same amount as teachers towards a premium for dental and vision coverage for the Superintendent through the MFA Welfare Trust Fund in each year of the contract.
The Superintendent’s work year is 12 months and during the school year he will work the same calendar as the teachers except he will be required to work three days during the winter recess and three during the spring break, unless he utilizes paid vacation leave. In addition, he will work from September 1 until the day teachers report to school and any days between the close of the school year (the last day teachers report) and June 30, unless he chooses paid vacation days.
During the summer the Superintendent will work all weekdays, except on any paid school holiday identified in the school calendar, unless he utilizes paid vacation days.
On July 1 of each year the Superintendent will be credited with 25 vacation days to be taken at any time during the year as his duties permit. He will be allowed to carry over any unused vacation days but no more than 40 days inclusive of his annual allotment. Upon retirement the Superintendent will be paid out for any unused vacation at the per diem rate up to a maximum of 40 days. During the school year from July1-June 30 the Superintendent is entitled to 4 personal leave days that cannot be accumulated, and with 5 days of paid leave due to a death in the immediate family.
The contract notes that if the Superintendent is unable to perform his duties due to illness, accident or other cause beyond his control or if his disability persists beyond his sick or disability leave, the school board can terminate the contract. If he retires due to disability his benefits in retirement shall remain in effect.
During the stated contract dates the Superintendent must furnish to the school board a valid NYS Certificate to act in his stated position and if it is not provided, the board has the option to terminate his employment.
Any outside professional employment by the Superintendent such as consultation work, speaking engagements, teaching, writing or lectures must not interfere with his work for the district and he must seek prior permission from the Board of Education.
The Board of Education is required to devote a portion of one meeting each May to evaluate the Superintendent’s performance in an Executive Session and notate their evaluation in writing and provide a copy to the Superintendent. Should the board wish to discharge the Superintendent prior to the expiration of the contract, they must show just cause for that action, which would incur a lengthy process, with the Superintendent being allowed speak and to to hear witnesses and evidence against him and a record maintained, again in an executive session. He must also be given 6 months notice prior to termination and the entire process is subject to the laws of the state of New York, the regulations of the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education of the state of New York.
The Agreement was signed by Superintendent Rydell on January 29, 2024 and by Board President Frank Milazzo at the Board of Education meeting on February 1, 2024.