Garcia gets 4-year contract from school board

DOWNEY - The Downey Unified School District Board of Education has approved the employment contract for the new DUSD superintendent John Garcia. The contract, covering the period from March 18, 2013 to March 17, 2017, stipulates an annual salary of $216,769 payable in 12 equal monthly installments.

It is the same salary Wendy Doty, the departing superintendent, has been getting in the past several months because of salary budget freezes. In this regard, DUSD Board President Donald LaPlante sought fit to emphasize this fact, in view of the fiscal uncertainties attributable to lingering questions about the shape of the coming state budget.

Otherwise, the formulation of the contract follows the normal format, the chief highlights of which are the following:

*Garcia will be entitled to 14 sick leave days per year, on a cumulative basis, as well as 22 days of annual vacation with pay as long as he renders the minimum of 222 days of full and regular service to the district during each annual covered period

*The duties of Garcia shall be assigned by the Board of Education

*The Board of Education may terminate this contract at any time upon written notice to the superintendent, the salary rate during the superintendent's last month of service payable for the maximum period allowed

*The Board of Education shall formally evaluate and assess, in writing, the performance of the superintendent at least once per year. The annual written evaluation shall be completed by June 30 of each year, starting in 2014

Upon evaluating the Superintendent's annual performance in any year to be at a level of satisfactory or better, the Board shall have the option to extend this agreement by an additional year

In response, Dr. Garcia again complimented everybody concerned for his appointment, saying: "This is a dream come true for me. I never thought I'd come back home to Downey."

He then introduced his family: wife Nicole, daughter Madeline, and son Jacob.

In other action, in keeping with recent tradition, the Board approved the naming of an "appropriate Downey facility" in honor of Dr. Wendy Doty, who is leaving the stage March 31.

Upon hearing the Board's suggestion that perhaps East Middle School be renamed Wendy Doty Middle School because she began her career in Downey there as a teacher, she could be seen wiping away a tear or two.

At any rate, said LaPlante, there's no reason to hurry its realization.

********** Published: February 21, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 45