Source: Sherman Publications

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Superintendent hires in at $151,366

by Laura Colvin

March 16, 2011

By Laura Colvin

Review editor

It was unanimous.

The Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education voted 7-0 last week to award Marion Ginopolis a two-year contract, including an annual salary of $151,366.

"First thing tomorrow morning, I would like whoever is in charge of the website to take 'interim' off Mrs. Ginopolis' name, please," said Mary Jo Burchart, Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education president, at the board's regular meeting, held Wednesday, March 9.

Burchart who sat down recently with Ginopolis, as well as with school board Vice President Janet Wolverton and Treasurer Jim Weidman to hammer out details of Ginopolis' contract said she was confident about the decision.

"We have some trying (issues) coming up with the budget, with finding money for the things we need to do," Burchart said. "Marion has a lot of experience as a superintendent, and this will go a long way to smooth over the chaos going on. This is the best for our district."

Ginopolis signed on as interim superintendent in November and agreed, in theory, to stay on for two years after the search for a permanent replacement or even a search firm became arduous.

At $151,366, her salary is set at the exact amount as that outlined in the three-year contract former superintendent Ken Gutman signed about a month before he jumped ship.

But for Gutman, the $151,366 was a reduction over what he received the previous year.

Gutman's renewed contract included a supposed eight-percent salary cut which turned out to actually be a four-percent cut; his original 2009-2010 contract stipulated a salary of $164,529 for 2010-11, which is what the eight percent ($13,162) was based on. But, since he froze his salary at the 2008-09 level, $158,140, he actually only took a four percent cut ($6,325) for the 2010-2011 contract.

Ginopolis said welcomed the opportunity to stay on and continue the work she was doing.

"I'm excited and I don't see it as anything but a challenge," she said. "The benefit is the kids."

On Wednesday, she was scheduled to spend the school day "shadowing" a Lake Orion High School student -- attending classes, doing the work and having lunch with the students.

"Thank you for the vote of confidence," Ginopolis told the board at the conclusion of last week's meeting. "I feel like I've been here for a long time. We have a lot of work to do, and a great team to do it with."

Others reflected the sentiment.

"You have been a great addition to the team and we all look forward to working with you," said Heidi Kast, assistant superintendent of educational services. "You're a great fit for Lake Orion."

Burchart agreed.

'I know it is a thankless job," she said. "I tell her every time I see her, 'I'm glad you're here.'"