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MCS looks to extend Lindsay

BY Spencer Durham - sdurham@chronicle-tribune.com

The Marion school board is fixing to have Brad Lindsay at the helm for at least a couple more years.

The board has drawn up a contract for its superintendent that would keep Lindsay at the head of Marion Community Schools through July 2021. With the contract extension would also come a raise. Lindsay's current salary is $129,000. Under the contract extension his annual salary would increase to $131,600.

First Vice President Todd Nicholson said the school board came to the decision after its annual evaluation of the superintendent.

“We have a very positive assessment of Dr. Lindsay,” he said. “... We are pleased he is in our community.”

The only changes to the existing contract are the increase in salary and the extension of the contract to July 7, 2021. Lindsay's current contract is set to expire July 7, 2019. All other terms of the original contract remain the same, according to contract extension, which can be found on the school's website.

“I am so thankful,” Lindsay said. “I love it. … (My family) wants to be here. … In the six years I've been here, the momentum has been high.”

And it's that momentum the board has noticed, according to Nicholson. While quick to give credit to all at Marion schools who have helped make it happen, Nicholson said it comes from the top down.

“It's the leadership at the top that makes those (good) things happen,” he said.

Tuesday night's meeting served as the public hearing to the proposed contract extension. One community member actually vouched for a larger salary increase for Lindsay.

Nicholson said the salary increase is in line and actually a bit lower than other recent raises given to employees at Marion schools. The vice president said the board had a hard enough time getting Lindsay to take the salary increase offered.

“I'm exhausted at trying to get Dr. Lindsay to accept this amount and I don't feel like I would want to take on the task that he should receive more,” Nicholson said after public comment. “... He (Lindsay) stated time and time again to the board that he is terribly happy with his compensation. For him to take this relatively small amount has been a pretty difficult task.”

A vote to confirm the contract extension is expected at the next school board meeting on Oct. 30.

In other MCS news, the board welcomed the district's newest director of public safety. Brian Sharp, a Marion Police Department officer for 20 years, and longtime off-duty security officer for the district, will step into the role.

Human Resources Director Shelley Preston said Sharp will provide safety training and oversight to the entire district.