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Contract Approved for New Greendale Superintendent

Officials approved a two-year contract with a $155,000 annual salary, with no automatic salary increases, for new Greendale Superintendent John Tharp.

Contract Approved for New Greendale Superintendent

The Greendale School Board put the final stamp of approval on the new superintendent’s contract.

The board unanimously approved a two-year contract for John Tharp, selected to take over for . The contract, which covers the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, calls for a $155,000 salary.

School Board President Joe Crapitto said they considered previous experience, salary of the outgoing superintendent, and salaries of other superintendents in the region. Hughes had an annual salary of $163,000.

"We wanted to be transparent with the community, and his contract is not filled with other compensation that may be found in other contracts," said Crapitto.

There are no automatic salary increases, no post-employment benefits and no longevity bonuses or stipends. Tharp will contribute his portion to the Wisconsin Retirement System and his medical insurance is the same plan offered to all staff. He will pay a percentage of the monthly premium that ranges from 10 percent to 18 percent, depending on the plan he selects and other factors. Tharp will be reimbursed for moving costs, not to exceed $5,000.

“We wanted to put together a compensation package to attract top talent, and have high expectations for Dr. Tharp,” said Crapitto.

John Tharp’s selection was announced earlier this month after the final two candidates were brought to Greendale to participate in meet-and-greets at the high school.

Tharp is a former high school teacher and an administrator for a high-achieving district in Tennessee. Tharp received his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from UNC. He also published a  book on school reform.

Most recently, Tharp served as assistant superintendent for middle and high schools in Williamson County, Tennessee, at a suburban Nashville district about 10 times the size of Greendale's district. 

A consulting firm was hired to help find a superintendent. The firm helped gather input from stakeholders in the community and vetted more than 30 candidates. The school district spent about $20,000 in the search for the superintendent.

“I think the firm was instrumental,” said Crapitto. “The firm helped us go out to the community and speak to staff to help develop a profile that said this is the type of candidate we want. That was key to really hiring someone who fit the criteria. The second key part was that it really turned into a national search.”

Candidates from all over the region, state and nation were looked at.

“That allowed us to find and attract the best candidate that we wouldn’t have been able to find,” Crapitto said.

Tharp will be at the Greendale School District staff kick-off meeting on Aug. 29. He will be in the schools full-time once school starts on Sept. 4.

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