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Monroe Schools sets interim superintendent contract

MONROE — The school board last week solidified a contract with interim superintendent Kim Whitworth through June 30.
Superintendent Justin Blasko was put on administrative leave in December by the school board on allegations of workplace bullying. A third-party investigator is still working on its ongoing investigation, district spokeswoman Tamara Krache said last week. Blasko is still Monroe’s superintendent by title unless the board acts to change it, Krache said.
Whitworth’s new pay is $249,080 a year, equal to Blasko’s salary.
The contract includes $650 per month for travel expenses and $200 a month in personal discretionary expenses, the same as Blasko’s contract. The contract retroactively hands Whitworth these benefits dating to Dec. 17, 2021 when she became the stand-in superintendent. She was formally appointed acting superintendent in early January.
The district is setting Whitworth’s pay equal to Blasko’s superintendent contract to fairly compensate her, the district said.
“The superintendent role in which Ms. Whitworth is temporarily serving is a critical role that comes with much responsibility. It is our obligation to provide her with a contract and fairly compensate her for this work,” Krache wrote in an email responding to questions.
It took two months after Whitworth took the reins to set the contract because of scheduling delays, time needed for developing it and having it vetted by attorneys, Krache said.
Whitworth is the district’s chief academic officer overseeing curriculum and education programs. The contract allows her to return to that position once her superintendent term concludes.
The end date for her term as superintendent is fluid.
If the investigation on Blasko wraps up before June 30, and if the decision is he can return, the short-term contract with Whitworth can be ended earlier than June 30.
In November, the district faced criticism and public calls for Blasko’s resignation for lightly addressing student racism and harassment.
These calls intensified and focused onto Blasko in December after claims Blasko operated a toxic workplace became public.
The Monroe Equity Council, an activist group strongly
opposed to racism, dug up first-person accounts of incidents that include documented complaints of Blasko yelling at staff and secondhand reports of him making contemptuous insults.
Blasko became superintendent in February 2020 as an internal promotion without a superintendent search. He joined the district in 2010.

 

  

 


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