Marietta ‘super’ gets raise, contract extension
by Lindsay Field
September 19, 2012 12:46 AM | 2783 views | 6 6 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta Superientendent Emily Lembeck. <br> File photo
Marietta Superientendent Emily Lembeck.
File photo
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MARIETTA – The Marietta City School Board unanimously approved awarding Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck a $5,000 bonus and extended her contract with the addition of a 2 percent salary increase after giving her yet another satisfactory performance evaluation.

The board also agreed to: Include specific general waivers in the district’s most recent charter system renewal application on which Lembeck is seeking feedback from the community; heard from Dunleith Elementary Principal Sarah Towler and Sawyer Road Elementary Principal Debbie Burley about how their students performed last school year; and learned more from Neil Barfield with the Marietta Schools Foundation about the Marietta High auditorium endowment.

Between July 2011 and July 2012, Lembeck was judged on nine different areas of responsibility for her superintendent evaluation, including increasing academic achievement, the charter system, communication and engagement, fiscal responsibility, personnel, discipline, leadership, preschool and data analysis.

Board Chair Jill Mutimer said the board members have discussed her evaluation and future goals in executive session during the last month and they deemed her work satisfactory.

In regards to the extension of Lembeck’s contract, Mutimer said, “This year we awarded a 2 percent raise to our staff and that was our decision to do … we would like to provide her the 2 percent increase that the rest of our staff was provided because we are pleased with her performance.”

The 2 percent increase was determined by Lembeck’s $158,658 base salary and should come to an additional $3,173 for the district chief, bringing her overall salary to about $197,734 including benefits, insurance and the $5,000 performance-based bonus.

“I thank the board for all of your support and confidence in my ability to lead,” Lembeck said. “I work with a great staff and a great school system. You can’t beat the teachers and the administration.”

When discussing the 2013-2018 charter system renewal application, Lembeck advised the board of the general waivers they would be considering for approval to include in the submitted document.

A few of these include waiving class sizes, teacher certification requirements, seat time or parent engagement requirements.

The presentation Lembeck gave to the board is what she will be showing to members of the Marietta City Schools community between Sept. 19-29 to get feedback on moving forward with the process.

The revisions to the document will be posted on the district’s website Oct. 2, a public hearing will be held Oct. 9, followed by board action later that day and the application must be submitted to the state department of education by Nov. 1.

This is the fifth and final year of the current charter. Marietta first became a charter system in 2008. The current status will expire in June 2013.

A charter system is one that operates according to the terms of its charter or contract that has been approved by the local board of education, said Marietta spokesman Thomas Algarin.

Both Dunleith and Sawyer Road elementary school principals made brief presentations to the board, reporting how their students performed on last school year’s Criterion-Referenced Competency and IOWA tests and the fifth grade writing assessment, how subgroups were performing, teacher and student attendance, human resources and parent involvement.

Towler at Dunleith was pleased to announce that her school improved higher than any other elementary school in Marietta City.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity,” she said before her presentation, which included statistics on how students improved overall on the CRCT, how they saw a “great jump” on the writing assessment and how they’ve seen a steady increase in parent involvement since 2009.

Burley, who’s in her first full year as principal at Sawyer Road, said she was disappointed to report decreases in some areas, but explained thoroughly to board members why they had areas of decrease.

However, the students last year did perform well on the CRCT English/Language Arts portion of the test, had across-the-board increases on the IOWA test and she continues to see increasing growth in parent conference week participation.

In other news, the board also heard from the Marietta Schools Foundation Executive Director Barfield.

He spoke to the board about the endowment they are creating to support the future maintenance costs of the Marietta High auditorium currently under construction.

He said that Lembeck has advised him that the building could cost between $150,000 to $200,000 annually to maintain.

“Last April we started making contacts to create some interest in this endowment,” he told board members. “Here we have a list of objects and spaces to try and endow in 2012, 2013 and 2014.”

Endowments include naming rights for the actual building, $1 million; auditorium, $500,000; grand hall, $250,000; concessions, $200,000; band room, choral room and dance room, $150,000 each; stage, $100,000; boys and girls dressing rooms, $10,000 each; and seats, $1,000 each.

“This gives everybody in the community an opportunity to make a donation to this auditorium,” Barfield said. “With the seats especially, we’d like to ask people to start signing up. It’s first come, first serve.”

An individual’s name will be placed on each seat along with a plaque in the lobby of the new building.

He reminded that the nearly $4 million in endowment funds they are seeking, “will remain in endowment. It’s not spent. It’s invested.”

In other business, the board approved:

n A Memorandum of Understanding with Seongdong District Office of Education in Korea for the students in South Korea to come to the United States to participate in Experience America Camp in Marietta for three weeks.

n A Memorandum of Agreement between the district, State Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency to purchase two environmentally friendly school buses for the price of one, $78,816.

The district currently has 23 buses in use that are at least 20 years old.

n The Race to the Top Resource Reallocation Project, which would allow the non-profit organization Education Resources Strategies Inc. of Massachusetts to assist in a study of Marietta’s budget, human resources or school designs. The $90,000 grant was awarded to the district in August and results should be ready in late 2013.
Comments
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Concerned Parent
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September 20, 2012
Does the MCS superintendent’s total compensation appear exorbitant for a school system of only 8,400 students? How can the board with good conscious approve rewarding the superintendent a bonus in this challenging economic environment? The MCS school system needs to analyze whether they are spending too much money on their own bureaucracy. MCS has numerous ways they can bring down costs and be more efficient, including reining in the salaries of our superintendent and her central office personnel and eliminating the practice of double dipping; current administrators earning salaries and pensions simultaneously. I wish that my student was graded on the same curve as the superintendent; average performance equals a bonus. Is this practice teaching our future leaders that average performance is acceptable and in this case rewarded
FROM TEXAS
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September 20, 2012
Looks like the kids and the teachers got mugged $40,000.00 pay raise sounds like the whole Chicago deal and no union involved. I would say if you look at the RICO Act Marietta would be guilty; you buy cable, power, water, garbage and the school system is rigged against taxpayers. Wonder how many brother-in-law deals are going on with all this? I’m sure just a few families have all the top jobs at this little cottage industry of fleecing the taxpayers. A family tree story would most likely be very interesting and great reading, sounds like a job for the MDJ.
From Georgia
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September 20, 2012
Your reading comprehension is lacking...

It is not a $40,000 raise. It is a 2% raise or about $3,200 as the article states. There is a big difference between base salary and a grand total that includes all other benefits.

As for Lembeck, her family is relatively new to Marietta. So, any favoritism from the locals has been earned.

Cobb Taxpayer
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September 19, 2012
I am glad to read about Ms. Lembeck's performance and how she is being graded.

Why does Cobb County Board not give the evaluation and performance of Hinojosa. It would nice to see how the board rates his performance but also did he get a pay raise?
tax payer 57,000
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September 19, 2012
I guess it is easier to give a raise to the top dog that really has very little influence on the actual day to day learning that goes on in the classroom than to give a raise to the little non-important techers in the classroom.
2whoknows
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September 19, 2012
What A Dummy! read the article next time.
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