Four months after his contractual deadline, Morris Community High School District 101 Superintendent Dr. Pat Halloran has been given a five-year contract.
The Morris Community High School board approved his contract after an executive session Monday with a 6-to-1 vote. Board member Judie Roth voted no. The contract begins immediately and goes to June 30, 2018, when he plans to retire.
“I’m excited and honored to be able to serve the students, staff and community for another five years,” Halloran said.
The board’s lack of action previously made Halloran’s contract automatically renew for one year in March because it did not make a decision by the required March 1 deadline in his contract. With this, his contract was left up to the new board elected in April.
In the wake of April’s election, three new members — Stephen Stangland, Thomas Anderson and Delores Robinson — joined the board. Former board members John Maddox and Karen Meucci were not re-elected and Dr. James Allen did not run for re- election.
Board president Dennis Best said the contract has been debated for about a year and he was relieved for it to be over.
“I’m happy for him and he really truly deserved this,” said Best after the meeting.
Best said that, despite the state’s financial troubles trickling down to the local district, Halloran has continued to make sure Morris students receive a quality educational experience.
Best would not comment on what parts of the contract were causing the hang up previously.
Roth said after the meeting she voted against the contract because she was not in favor of a five-year deal. She said she was on the board last year with the previous board that had decided then not to do a five-year deal and was maintaining her decision.
In a press release distributed after the vote, Best credited Halloran for providing “outstanding leadership through some very difficult times.”
He noted the district is showing steady improvement in student achievement as seen in increasing ACT scores and that the school is no longer on the state board’s financial watch list and has earned “recognition” status.
In addition, Best said their leader has implemented cost containment strategies and worked with other government agencies for other revenue resources.
Halloran’s previous contract was a four-year pact and was performance-based, but the new contract adds that by March 1 of each year the board and Halloran will agree on additional performance goals related to the district’s strategic plan. If the goals are met, Halloran will receive a raise.
In his previous contract, his annual raise was set. In this contract, it states he shall be paid $140,780 for the 2013-2014 year and no less than $143,595 for the 2014-2015 year. Each year after that the salary shall be increased by 2 percent and, beginning with the 2014-2015 year, he may earn an additional 2 percent if he completes his performance goals.
“I’m proud of what we have accomplished and am confident that if we continue to work together we can handle the challenges that lie ahead,” said Halloran.