By Mark Reynolds
Last week the Marlboro Board of Education renewed Michael Brooks’ contract as Superintendent of Schools. It runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024.
The contract outlines key areas of his responsibilities: administer and supervise the district; work cooperatively with the school board to develop annual goals and objectives; enhance the quality of the District through school improvement initiatives; make recommendations on curriculum planning and revisions; advise the board on administrative matters, especially on discipline, personnel relations, finances and academic performance; make recommendations to the board on organization and reorganization on the administration of instructional programs, business affairs and administrative staffing that best meets the needs of the district; be responsible for recruiting both teaching and non-teaching personnel and make recommendations to the board on appointments, tenure and dismissals, to name a few of his duties.
Brooks’ base salary starting July 1, 2020 is $229,312. The following year his base salary will be $219,342 but it may increase by three percent [$6,580] provided that he receives an average score of three or greater on his annual performance evaluation. The same formula will be calculated on July 1, 2023. If Brooks receives an average score below three on the evaluation then the board has the right to withhold entirely or reduce the annual percentage increases.
Brooks will contribute 20 percent toward the cost of his health insurance premium that is deducted from each paycheck. He may voluntarily opt out the district’s health insurance program and receive $5,000 each year of the contract.
The district will pay 85 percent of Brook’s health insurance premiums for individual coverage in retirement from the Marlboro district after 6 years of service. This increases to 100 percent after 7 years of service and also covers full reimbursement of Medicare part B premiums. He will also receive dental and vision coverage through the MFA Welfare Trust Plan for each year of the contract, with the district contributing the same amount toward premium costs as it does for teachers. There is an additional $6,000 annually available to Brooks that is put into a tax qualifying Health Savings Account [HSA], a Health Reimbursement Account [HRA] or other related plan of his choosing or provide for direct reimbursement of out of pocket medical, dental and vision costs and premiums for the Superintendent and his spouse.
Brooks has the option to enroll in a dental/vision plan of his own choosing, have the district fund a Section 125 Plan for medical reimbursement for himself and his family, or be reimbursed for out of pocket medical expenses and premiums for himself or his spouse.
The district will reimburse Brooks for the use of his own vehicle for all district related travel at the prevailing IRS mileage rate; provide a tablet with universal WiFi capability as well as a laptop; pay his annual professional dues in the American Association of School Administrators, the NYS Council of School Superintendents and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and provide paid time off for national holidays listed on the school calendar.
During the school year Brooks is required to work the same days as the teacher calendar and an additional three days during winter recess and three days during spring recess, unless he uses paid vacation leave. During the summer Brooks will work all weekdays except on any paid school holiday. In 2020-21 Brooks will be credited with 25 vacation days on July 1st and could be used at any time during the year as his duties permit. Vacations shall be taken during the fiscal year they are earned and are not cumulative. There are also 15 sick days allotted per school year, cumulative to 180 days; 4 personal days per school year that are non-cumulative; 5 bereavement days per a death in the immediate family, non- cumulative; and credited with 50 sick days that will have no cash value upon retirement unless he retires from the District with 7 years of employment with Marlboro. In that scenario, upon retirement Brooks will receive $100/day of unused sick days.
The contract also contains numerous clauses that deal with any breach of contract, violations of the Code of Ethics and hearings and procedures involved if needed.
In a subsequent interview, Brooks said Superintendent contracts can be for a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 years. He started with the district in 2015.
Brooks said he feels very good about his employment with the Marlboro School district.
“Marlboro’s a gem and there are so many fantastic things about this place – the town, the countryside, the school district – it’s just a fantastic place to be. I’m proud to be associated with it,” he said.
Brooks acknowledged that when he arrived, the district was at the tail end of a difficult fiscal period but said today the district is financially and academically, “in a good spot. Our graduation rate is solidly in the 90s and we’re meeting the kid’s needs; we’re doing great.”