TVUSD approves contract for new superintendent

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Valley News/Will Fritz file photo

Temecula Valley Unified School District’s governing board has approved a contract for incoming superintendent Jodi McClay, who is set to take over the district’s top job this summer.

Current TVUSD Superintendent Tim Ritter gave the district’s board his notice of retirement March 3, and the board immediately moved to select McClay, TVUSD’s current deputy superintendent to take over Ritter’s position.

The board voted 4-1 to appoint McClay as the next superintendent effective Aug. 1, with board member Barbara Brosch as the sole “no” vote.

At the April 21 board meeting, members voted unanimously to approve a three-year contract with McClay, granting her an annual salary of $256,814.

McClay’s salary is actually slightly less than the $266,504 Ritter made in 2018 and is roughly on track with the salaries earned by superintendents in other nearby, similarly sized districts. For example, Murrieta Valley Unified School District’s superintendent took home about $248,000 in 2018, and Hemet Unified School District’s superintendent earned a little more than $253,000 that year.

McClay will earn much less than superintendents at some smaller nearby districts. For example, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, with just 5,000 students, paid its superintendent $327,000 in 2018, almost $70,000 more than the salary McClay will be earning while running a district of roughly 30,000 K-12 students.

Per the contract, TVUSD will also provide McClay with health benefits and a $500,000 life insurance policy. Upon retirement, McClay would have the option to continue using the district’s health coverage at her own expense if she were an outside hire but based on her previous positions in district administration, TVUSD will continue to pay for an individual-only health care plan until McClay reaches Medicare eligibility, at which point the district will cover a Medicare supplement plan. McClay can add a spouse or dependent to her health care plan at her own cost, per the contract.

McClay’s contract also stipulates that she will provide a vehicle and at least the minimum liability insurance required by law – no car allowance, as is the case in some districts. She is entitled to reimbursement for costs related to mileage and travel.

McClay has a work year of 221 days, according to the contract, and is entitled to 24 vacation days per year, which accrue at a rate of two per month. She may not earn any more than 36 vacation days.

The contract can be terminated in several different ways: disability; mutual agreement between the superintendent and the TVUSD board at any time; termination by the superintendent with 90 days’ notice; termination without cause by the board, which would require up to 12 months’ worth of the remainder of the superintendent’s contract salary to be paid out; termination for cause by the board, which would not require any salary to be paid out, and nonrenewal by the board.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.