N.J.-S.P. Wraps Up Superintendent Search

Dr. Annette Zupin
Dr. Annette Zupin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is prepared to offer the superintendent job to an administrator within the corporation. Board President Pat Goin confirmed during last night’s public hearing on the proposed contract that high school Principal Dr. Annette Zupin will be offered the job at next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.

She says the board was diligent in their efforts to put forth a contract.

“Consideration was given to our corporation’s size, the past compensation packages for our superintendent, compensation packages for other area schools, and our current financial situation. We believe we have worked hard, and we’ve put together a contract that addresses those needs,” Goin said at the start of the meeting.

If Zupin accepts the position, she will be paid a base salary of $99,700 in the first year and $102,000 each of the next two years, plus benefits. By her third year in the position she will be making the same amount of money former Superintendent Lynn Johnson was earning when she left N.J.-S.P. in December.

Goin says the school board reviewed 12 resumes and interviewed seven candidates. She adds Oregon-Davis pays their superintendent $95,000 annually, while Eastern Pulaski’s salary is the highest in the area at $108,000. The median average statewide for a school the size of N.J.-S.P. is $118,000, according to Goin.

Becky Bailey, whose three children attend school at N.J.-S.P. was the only parent in attendance who questioned the board’s decision.

“We have a principal who has been moved from junior high to high school and back and forth, and the ratings that we’ve had in our school and the problems that we’ve had in our school, that we would allow a person in position that has been considered a failed principal in our school system to be put into a position and paid more money,” Bailey said before Goin stopped her and said, “This is not to be, this meeting is not to assault anyone’s character.”

Goin notes N.J.-S.P.’s score went from a D to a C in a year, which indicates progress. She adds that’s in spite of dramatic declines at other corporations, which have been blamed on problems with the ISTEP exam. Additionally Goin says the corporation has addressed curriculum issues through changes in teachers and remediation programs and notes North Judson-San Pierre has the highest graduation rate in the county.

Zupin also spoke during the meeting and said she was “a little surprised” by Bailey’s comments.

“I have never claimed to be perfect, but I work very hard and I am very passionate about the school district. There is more than the letter grade. I know how I deal with students. I know how our discipline has improved. We’re not perfect, never claimed to be perfect, but I work hard, and I will continue to work hard.”

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will vote on the proposed contract at their regularly scheduled May 17th meeting. It starts at 7 p.m. at the central office.