Updated: Montgomery County School Board extends superintendent’s contract
Updated at 3:30 p.m. June 26:
Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Brenda Blackburn’s contract has been extended for another three-year term, her office announced today.
The extension came after a School Board review last week. Blackburn’s existing contract specified that the board give her notice about renewal at the two-year mark of her three-year term. Two board members who could be contacted immediately today praised Blackburn’s performance during what has been an eventful time in office. They said the review was in no way connected to the recent reassignment of principals at Blacksburg and Christiansburg high schools or to this year’s difficult budget season, which has included cutting of teaching positions and the adoption, then rejection of a controversial pay-to-play policy for extracurricular activities.
“I think she has done an exceptional job managing the district especially when you consider all of the challenges she has faced,” School Board member Drema Foster wrote in an email.
Board member Phyllis Albritton agreed.
“She really is committed to the students,” Albritton said.
Blacksburn was hired in 2010. After she was named for the superintendent’s post — but before she moved to Montgomery County from Florida — the roof of the Blacksburg High School gym collapsed. That triggered the closing of the school and the relocation of its students to Blacksburg Middle School, with the middle-schoolers being shifted to an unused building in Christiansburg.
After that, school and county leaders soldiered through a series of tough choices – and tumultuous meetings – about school construction, eventually agreeing to continue plans to build a new Auburn High School and renovate the old Auburn High into a revamped Auburn Middle School, all while building a new Blacksburg High School as well.
That set the stage for a real estate tax increase this year that officials said was a record for Montgomery County. The tax increase funded the new construction, but wasn’t enough to cover the School Board’s desired operating budget, leaving school officials to scramble to chop $4.2 million in spending.
Blackburn’s contract now runs through June 2016, including both the new term and the year remaining from her first agreement with the county. Her annual salary is $151,500, schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake said.
Montgomery County schools has just released the following:
The Montgomery County School Board extended the contract of the division superintendent, Brenda Blackburn, until June 2016. The vote took place at the conclusion of the closed session meeting on June 21, 2012.
Blackburn was hired in March 2010 for an initial three year term. Her contract states that the board will communicate its intent with respect to renewal of the contract during the second year of employment.
The Roanoke Times will have more details as they become available.
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