REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education has given Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin three more years at the helm of the district.
The school board, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, last week renewed Yamin’s contract.
“We’re looking forward to continued success in all of our programs,” board Chair Sheryl Feducia said.
With the three-part school building project wrapping up soon with the completion of a new district office, Feducia said, school officials can now focus all their attention on academics in the region. She said the district has the staff, students and materials to make the region better.
“Now it’s time to really make it shine, and that’s our goal and (Yamin’s) goal too,” she said.
Yamin’s new contract runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019. The deal is similar to the contract for the Region 16 School Administrators’ Association, which is the union for certified administrative employees.
Administrators received 2 percent raises in each year of a contract that runs through June 30 2018, but with step increases the raises are closer to 3 percent.
Yamin will receive a 2 percent increase next fiscal year, which will bring his salary to about $176,000. The board will negotiate Yamin’s base salary each of the last two years of the contract.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do, and I hold myself to high expectations,” Yamin said.
Yamin will also receive $3,000 to put towards a retirement account and a $4,000 transportation allowance for using his personal vehicle, according to his contract.
Yamin will receive the same health benefits as other administrators. Under the administrators’ contract, administrators are offered a Preferred Provider Organization plan or a High Deductible Health Care/Health Savings Account. The health care cost share will be 22 percent in 2016-17, under the administrators’ contract.
Yamin said the board’s decision to renew his contract provides a clear focus and cohesiveness for the direction of the district.
“It reinforces the work that we’re doing here in Region 16, and it also sends a message that we now have some stability in district office,” Yamin said.
Yamin’s tenure as superintendent began in September of 2014. Prior to his arrival, the region saw its share of school chiefs over a short period of time.
Former Superintendent James Agostine left the district in January 2012. Tim James was named the interim superintendent after Agostine left and hired as the permanent superintendent in August 2012.
An undisclosed health issue led to James taking extended medical leaves for treatment and two interim superintendents being hired to fill in. James resigned due to the lingering health issues in 2014, and Yamin replaced him.
“In any position we have in the region we want stability, whether it’s our custodians, whether it’s teachers, we like the stability because we know what we have,” Feducia said.
As Yamin prepares for his third year leading Region 16, he said his goals include increasing 21st century skills and learning in schools to “make sure all our kids have opportunities to be successful.”
Yamin has also set his sights on improving the district’s standing in its District Reference Group (DRG).
The state groups school districts together in DRGs based on similar socioeconomic factors.
Yamin’s goal is to have Region 16 in the top third of its DRG for student achievement by the end of next school year and in the top ten in three years.