Licking County News

Southwest Licking

Jennell, Jones get five-year extensions


The Southwest Licking school district administration should have continuity at the top for at least five more years.

School board members on Feb. 20 approved five-year contract extensions for Superintendent Robert Jennell and Treasurer Richard Jones in separate 5-0 votes.

Because Southwest Licking has a salary freeze in effect, neither contract extension calls for a net increase in salary or benefits.

Jennell's contract extension begins Aug. 1, 2015, and Jones' is effective Aug. 1 this summer.

"We've been really pleased with (Jennell's) vision for the district," board President Don Huber said. "He's really stepped in and done an excellent job. ... We really need the continuity in leadership."

Huber cited Jennell's desire to implement all-day kindergarten and update the high school's curriculum as examples of the ways Jennell has impressed the board since being hired in 2012.

Huber said the school board has completed a formative assessment, or an informal assessment, of Jennell's work, and is in the process of completing a summative assessment, or formal assessment, which should be finished and available this summer.

"Really, we're evaluating him all the time," Huber said.

Huber said the board is beginning Jones' formative assessment, but both he and Jennell have such strong track records that board members felt comfortable extending their contracts before the assessments were complete.

"We've been extremely pleased with Mr. Jones' work," Huber said. "We want to keep him on the payroll."

Huber said Jones has had clean audits since he was hired in 1999 and board members would like to see that continue.

Like Jennell, Jones' contract does not call for an increase in overall pay or benefits.

Huber said Jones' base pay might increase, but he'll also have to pay more into his benefits, so the total owed by the district would come out even.

"The bottom line is, it'll be the same," Huber said.

He said both their salaries will stay the same, for now.

Jennell earns $130,000 per year with about $50,000 in benefits.

Jones earns $96,000 annually with about $50,000 in benefits. Under the new contract, Jones could earn roughly $110,000, but would contribute about $10,400 toward his benefit package.