RFSD board approves Sirko, Stein contracts

Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Diana Sirko and Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein listen to public comments during the board of education meeting to discuss Sirko’s request for a contract extension.
Christopher Mullen |

Months of discussion came to fruition Wednesday night when the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education unanimously approved new contracts for Superintendent Diana Sirko and Assistant Superintendent Rob Stein.

“It’s a relief to have this behind us so we can move on and focus on the important work we’re doing,” Stein said.

Sirko will stay on for two more years with a $170,000 annual salary under her new contract, and Stein will be paid a base of $130,000 a year until he becomes superintendent in 2017, when his compensation will be renegotiated.

Stein, who was originally selected as superintendent in 2012 but handed the reigns to Sirko shortly after being hired because his wife had a serious bicycle accident, was viewed as heir apparent by many members of the community, but nothing was formalized until now.

“Leadership transition always makes people nervous,” Sirko said. “This resolves the next five years, and I think that’s a tremendous benefit to the district.”

The contracts are the product of the product of weeks of discussion with the assistance of Pam Britton, principal at The Knowledge Environment. The district paid $2,500 for her help.

Besides the 3 percent raise Sirko is slated to receive, she is to get $300 per month for in-district mileage, $100 per month for cell phone usage, 20 vacation days, nine sick days and three personal leave days. The contract would run from July 1, 2015, until June 30, 2017, when Stein would take over.

Stein’s contract as chief academic officer also includes $2,200 monthly allowance for mileage, cell phone expenses, and insurance. His contract as superintendent, which will run July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2020, calls for his salary to be set in early 2017 “based on market comparisons and experience,” with similar benefits to Sirko’s.

The board also approved raises for other district staff at the meeting.

Based on recommendations from the district’s certified Interest Based Bargaining team, the board upped the average wage by 1.8 percent, starting with a $300 higher base salary and with increased incentives for longevity and higher levels of education.

It brings the entry salary for a first-year teachers with a bachelors to $35,391, just shy of the $35,748 average for comparable districts. The theoretical max — for a 30-year teacher with a doctorate — went up to $74,821, slightly above the $74,604 average.

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