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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Alachua County School Board approves superintendent’s contract

Shane Andrew to receive a two-year contract, $182,500 salary with incentive salary increases

A digital sign in front of the Alachua County Public Schools district office building reads “Hiring HR Exec Director” on Sunday, June 6, 2021.
A digital sign in front of the Alachua County Public Schools district office building reads “Hiring HR Exec Director” on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

After over two hours of deliberation, amendments and rants from school board members, the Alachua County School Board approved a new contract for Superintendent Shane Andrew in a 3-2 vote. 

Andrew and staff attorney Susan Seigle created a contract originally asking for a salary of $190,000 with retroactive pay from this fiscal year, starting from July 1, 2023. The proposed contract ends July 1, 2024. 

The original compensation clause also stated starting July 1, 2024 and every fiscal year until the end of his contract he should receive a raise upon effective or highly effective annual evaluations from the school board. The increase amount would follow salary raise protocols received by other district employees. 

The contract also stated the school board could increase Andrew’s salary or give him bonuses for improved performances in students, schools and the district as a whole. 

Many citizens and parents spoke, sharing mixed opinions on Andrew’s requested salary.  Several board members’ campaigns promise to conduct a national search for superintendent.

Taylor Gilfillan, a District Advisory Council member, inferred the school board members and citizens would be willing to pay an effective, qualified candidate $190,000 for a superintendent position “if it got us results.”

However, he asked the board to consider closing the student achievement gap, student attendance and school safety before continuing with Andrew’s appointment as the district’s leader. 

“My ask of this board [are] just if you think those quality questions are relevant and matter,” Gilfillan said. “I urge you to consider to either delay this conversation of moving forward with this contract until you get the evidence you need or that you come together and set really clear goals that if we move forward with this contract, you know exactly what you’re going to be getting.”

Evelyn Fox wants the school board to keep Andrew because she believes the district's superintendent turnover would prevent the district from finding other willing candidates. 

“Do you all think they would come here? Yeah, let’s be realistic,” she said. 

Fox told the board to “keep what we have” and save monetary resources looking for a new superintendent.

“I think Mr. Andrew should stay. Let’s give him a chance to try to straighten us locally. No better person than somebody locally to help us do this,” she said. 

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After public comment, the board began discussing amendments to the contracts. Motions passed include establishing superintendent evaluation criteria within 60 days of contract approval, $3,000 limit on compensated travel expenses and membership dues, removing fringe benefits, changing the contract from three to two years and salary and compensation changes.

The passed salary and compensation motion gave Andrew a salary of $182,500 with the chance for a raise of base salary with the completion of tasks. With a school board evaluation of effective or highly effective, Andrew can receive an additional $5,000 to his base salary each year throughout the contract’s term. 

For each Comprehensive Support and Improvement school that moves up to a C grade, Andrew will receive a $2,500 base salary increase. There are four CSI schools within the county: Metcalfe, Rawlings, Lake Forest and Shell elementaries.

The amendments and approval of the contract came after arguments among board members. Members Sarah Rockwell and Tina Certain voted against approval of the contract, with Rockwell citing her campaign promises to conduct a national search for a superintendent after the school board fired superintendent Carlee Simon in 2022. 

“So even though I recognize that Mr. Andrew is going to be our superintendent, I cannot in good conscience vote in favor of this contract,” Rockwell said.

Board members Diyonne McGraw, Leanetta McNealy and Kay Abbitt voted in favor of the contract. 

“We are talking about two years and he’s only had a chance to put his team in place since July of 2023,” McGraw said. 

Contact Megan Howard at mhoward@alligator.org. Follow her on X @meganmhxward.

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Megan Howard

Megan Howard is a second-year journalism major and the K-12 Education reporter for The Alligator. When she's not writing, you can find her rewatching the Eras Tour movie or reading The Hunger Games series.


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