St. Mary Parish Superintendent Aguillard gets new contract, $35,000 pay raise
CENTERVILLE, La. — The St. Mary superintendent’s contract was renewed Thursday night at an increase of $35,000 annually, up more than 70 percent since he originally was hired.
The quick turnaround comes as the St. Mary Parish School Board renewed his contract for $171,500 plus benefits. Those benefits include a monthly stipend at a total of $14,400 annually and life insurance policy at $4,800 annually, among other incentives.
The contract represents a 71.5 percent increase in base pay since Superintendent Donald Aguillard was hired in 2004. At that time, his contract was for $100,000 annually with three performance incentives worth $5,000 each. Those incentives and his benefits are not included in the percent increase over nine years.
Aguillard was going to retire when his contract expired at the end of the school year, he said. On Thursday, Aguillard said it didn’t make financial sense for him to continue in his position at the salary he was making. His retirement would have been adequate, he said, but the financial incentive made the new contract attractive.
The board approved the contract with one dissenting vote, that of Roland Verret of Amelia.
He said that his objection is not a “personal vendetta” against Aguillard but he believes that Aguillard “hustled the board” regarding the renewal.
Verret said he believes the public and the teachers were not represented in the situation.
Murphy Pontiff of Franklin, board president, said the renewal and salary increase were because of Aguillard’s ability to lead the school system. He noted the district’s B rating, saying it is “not common in South Louisiana.”
The contract ends June 30, 2016. It renewed with the pay increase today.
Aguillard said his previous salary was not commensurate with other superintendents in the state. A salary list for superintendents could not be obtained this morning.
In other action Thursday, the board:
—Learned the superintendent will advertise for a half-time secretary for Berwick High School’s guidance department to help with student overload. Additionally, a new teaching position has been added at Hattie Watts for the same reason. Other schools, Aguillard said, are being monitored in case they need additional teachers.
The school system cut 24 teaching positions during budget workshops. As of Thursday, those positions had not been re-created, but a total of 88 teachers were hired to fill additional open positions, Aguillard said.
—Hired Kim Hayes as a finance administrator with 28 years of experience at a salary of $39,834, which Mary Lockley of Franklin voted against.
—Hired Progressive Waste Solutions at a cost of $30,886 to pick up garbage in Morgan City.
—Reallocated $9,200 from unused playground equipment funds to buy cafeteria tables at the school.
—Replaced chiller controls at Franklin High at a cost of $12,000.
—Awarded substantial completion at J.S. Aucoin in Amelia to the two-story wing air conditioner replacement project.
—Allocated $12,500 from the District 3 maintenance fund to buy helmets and shoulder pads and $2,500 to start a cross country team, both for Morgan City High.
—Aguillard clarified the school system’s position as presented in a recent Daily Review characterization of actions taken up by the Patterson City Council.
“In reality, the School Board has never pursued the use of the 300 x 300 foot property on the Patterson Junior High practice football field restricted by act of donation to the city for recreational purposes,” Aguillard said.
“The School Board and City of Patterson have been working cooperatively to firmly establish the location of this protected piece of property. We commend the strong collaboration between the City of Patterson and the School Board for working to establish a possible location for the proposed new middle school structure.”