Assistant superintendent gets contract extension

Chris Montini

Chris Montini

NAUGATUCK — The assistant superintendent of schools, a Naugatuck native who worked his way up the ladder in a school system where he was once a student, will spend at least three more years in the district.

The Board of Education on Thursday gave a three-year contract extension to Chris Montini, who has been in his current role since April 2013.

“I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse this contract extension,” school board member David Heller said. “He is superb. We are very excited to keep him on our team.”

The contract gives Montini a 2 percent base salary increase, bringing his total annual salary to $149,298. In the second and third years of the contract, he will renegotiate with the Board of Education to determine whether he will get an additional pay increase.

Another change to his contract is that he will be eligible for a $4,000 annual stipend if he waives his health insurance.

Montini is the second highest paid person in the district and highest paid town employee behind his boss, Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke, who makes a base salary of $165,240.

Locke had high praise for Montini on Thursday.

“Mr. Montini puts children at the center of everything he does,” she said. “He’s the guy who holds the district together. He is our grant writer, he’s our policy writer, he’s a facilitator of meetings, he does all of the hard work day in and day out that keeps this district functioning at such a high level. He’s highly regarded in this community; he’s a tremendous asset to this district.”

Montini, 40, who lives in Milford with his wife and three young children, began teaching 17 years ago in the Naugatuck system at Prospect Street Elementary School; he previously spent a year teaching in Bridgeport Public Schools.

Montini also taught at Cross Street Intermediate School before becoming assistant principal at Hop Brook School. He then spent seven years as principal at Cross Street Intermediate School before becoming assistant superintendent in 2013.

His role entails overseeing curriculum, facilities management, work on the budget, grants writing and teacher and administrator evaluation, among other responsibilities.

He has always been seen as the heir apparent to the superintendent’s seat if Locke were to leave for another district. He said he has no current plans to apply to another district to be a superintendent.

“I’m excited to be in this district,” he said. “Naugatuck is a wonderful place. I’m excited to be part of this leadership team. At this point, I enjoy very much working with the students, families, teachers and administrators in this great community. I love Naugatuck and this is the place for me.”