District 51 Board of Education approves superintendent contract for Dr. Brian Hill

While all five directors voted to approve the contract, two also expressed concern over what this contract negotiation process could mean going forward.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 11:07 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - On Tuesday evening, the Mesa County Valley School District 51 Board of Education voted to approve a new contract for Dr. Brian Hill. Currently serving as the district’s assistant superintendent, he is set to become the superintendent on July 1, 2022 after Dr. Diana Sirko retires from the post.

Board directors Doug Levinson and Kari Scholtes shared a joint statement about the contract negotiation process towards the beginning of Tuesday’s business meeting. The other directors say that statement caught them off guard.

While all five directors voted to approve the contract, Levinson and Scholtes expressed concern over what this contract negotiation process could mean going forward. “While this board has not sought to terminate Dr. Hill, it did negotiate his contract downward,” shared Levinson.

He shared his view that the district needs to offer competitive pay to attract high-quality teaching and administrative talent. Those remarks kicked off a round of discussion.

“Unlike the government, I can’t just go print money and give it out to people. I mean, we have to make that we are being responsible,” countered board president Andrea Haitz.

Directors Angela Lema and Will Jones defended the agreed-upon contract, with Lema asserting her view that Levinson’s and Scholtes’ statement left her blindsided. ”I’m just very disappointed that, that statement is read and this is the first I’m hearing about it,” Lema told them.

Levinson further explained that he wanted to “let everyone know [Hill] made significant concessions to sign this contract because he wants to be here.”

The Mesa Valley Education Association supports Hill as superintendent. According to association president Tim Couch, ”We’re really happy that Dr. Hill has a contract... and we know who we’ll be working with in the future. It’s always really important for us as educators to know who’s going to be leading our district.”

Hill says he is looking forward to taking over as superintendent come July.

”Yeah I’m just excited to be able to continue to support this district and work with the great educators and families and students in the community, so just a really exciting day for me,” he shared.

All the board members did also express how happy they were to have him as the incoming superintendent.

Hill did have a contract lined-up before this new one. Levinson argued that the old contract was just fine, while Haitz said it had issues, according to the district’s legal team.

Copyright 2022 KJCT. All rights reserved.