Wareham School Committee approves new superintendent contract

Feb 8, 2018

The School Committee on Wednesday approved a new “rolling contract” for the district’s superintendent, which extended her employment, pending annual positive reviews.

Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood’s three-year contract was set to expire July 31, 2019. The new contract allows committee members to tack on one-year extensions if a board majority favors her performance after an annual review. If a majority feels Shaver-Hood is not performing well, there is no extension and the contract expires. In November, the committee approved a 2 percent raise for Shaver-Hood.

Vice Chair Geoff Swett said the rolling contract demonstrated a vote of confidence from the committee.

“In my mind, there is still lots of accountability and stability,” said Swett. “If we expect the superintendent to lead, she has to say she has the confidence of the School Committee.”

Chair Judy Caporiccio agreed. She said that an extraordinarily difficult budget, likely resulting in “grave consequences” for the schools, lies ahead.

“There are such hard times coming,” said Caporiccio. “I highly respect our superintendent and know she’s the best leader for us right now and probably will continue to be.”

In December, the committee approved a $29.4 million budget for the district for fiscal year 2019, up 3.6 percent from last year. Municipal revenues have not increased enough to keep pace and officials are eyeing deep cuts. The final budgets for the town and schools are still being drafted and must be voted on at the April 23 Town Meeting.

Swett noted that while he supported the rolling contract, he had reservations.

“It’s not a perfect document from my perspective,” he said. Swett added that, “education is an extraordinarily difficult thing to accomplish and I think Dr. Shaver-Hood and this body are doing everything possible to contribute to the success of our students.”