Contract approved for new superintendent

Wendy Sinnette’s contract to take over as La Cañada Unified School District’s superintendent after Supt. Jim Stratton retires July 31, was approved unanimously at a special board meeting on Monday.

The base salary for Sinette’s new position will be $160,000. She will also be given monthly travel, cell phone and business expenditure allowances.

The current superintendent is paid $172,534 annually.

Sinnette’s contract was approved with one small change. When the contract was first put before the board at a Feb. 15 board meeting, it called for Sinnette’s annual salary to be redetermined on June 30 each year. The updated document switched the date to Oct. 31.

School board member Joel Peterson suggested changing the date to the end of October to allow for adequate data from the previous year to be made available to the board before it made any decisions to award the annual performance bonus, which can be as much as $35,000.

“[Governing Board President] Susan Boyd looked into it with our attorney and discussed it with Sinnette and came to the conclusion this would be in everyone’s best interests,” Peterson said.

The district’s final budget arrives at the end of August, and standardized test scores aren’t available until the middle of September.

“You don’t want to give out a $35,000 bonus without data, it’d just be a feel-good bonus,” said LCUSD board member Cindy Wilcox in an interview before Monday’s meeting.

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