ANDERSON — The Frankton-Lapel Community Schools board of trustees approved an $8,000 raise for Superintendent Bobby Fields on Wednesday.
The increase, board members said, fulfills a commitment made to Fields when he was hired to lead the district in 2008. The board’s vote was unanimous.
Under the three-year contract, Fields will be paid $120,270 annually. He will also receive $6,613 in retirement benefits, $16,582 in health, dental and vision insurance; $570 for long-term disability and life insurance; $2,000 annually to a health savings account. Fields will also be provided with $9,260 in mileage and gasoline reimbursements.
Under Indiana law, a public hearing is required before a school board can vote on a superintendent’s contract, but no one showed up to comment on the contract, which was approved at special meeting.
When Fields was hired as the district’s lead administrator (he was assistant superintendent at the time), he was paid $6,000 less than the previous superintendent, Ned Speicher.
He was supposed to get a raise after one year, contingent on a good evaluation. Although he received a good first-year review, Fields never received his raise.
“The board had promised him this from the get-go,” said board member Alan Bays. “But economic pressures kept getting in the way ... We just felt it was time to rectify that.”
In addition to approving the long-promised raise, the board also amended Fields’ contract allowing him to receive additional compensation if a majority of other district administrators receive salary increases.
For example, if principals and central office administrators receive a 3 percent salary increase, Fields would also be eligible to receive an increase of the same amount.
Fields, 53, grew up in Lapel, graduating from Lapel High School in 1979, and returned as a math and physical education teacher in the 1984-1985 school year.
He served as athletic director and assistant principal at Lapel High School and was later promoted to principal.
“That’s one of the things that makes this school corporation unique,” said Bays. “There are a lot of people vested in the community.”
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Contract change The Frankton-Lapel Community Schools board of trustees amended language in the superintendent's contract authorizing the same salary increases that other administrators receive.