Board renews Zoellner’s contract
De Soto USD 232 board of education members voted unanimously March 6 to renew the contract of Superintendent Sharon Zoellner.
"We finalized the contract, and it was accepted by the superintendent," said Sandy Thierer, board president.
Zoeller, a 17-year veteran with the De Soto district, became superintendent three years ago with the retirement of her longtime boss, Marilyn Layman. This year, the board agreed to a $153,858 total package with a base salary of $129,908. Benefits include health insurance, life insurance, a catch-up provision on annuity, mileage and a clothing maintenance fee for dry cleaning.
Thierer said last year's base salary was $118,235 for Zoellner. The superintendent is on the first year of a three-year contract, which can be extended each year if the board chooses.
"This year there wasn't any change in the benefits other than the increase, so we didn't give her anything she didn't have last year, we just increased the amount," Thierer said.
She said that each year, Zoellner was put on the first year of the three-year contract. When the board extends that contract, she stays on the first year of the three-year contract. She said the negotiations were similar to teacher's contracts, except that teachers are represented by the National Education Association, a teacher's union. Zoellner's new contract will begin July 1 with the start of the district's fiscal year.
"In January, we do her evaluation and determine whether we want to continue to employ her," she said. "Once we decide we want to continue to employ her, we work through negotiations in February and March."
Zoellner said she looked forward to challenges in the De Soto district.
"We'll be continuing to manage the growth of 300 to 400 students," she said.
Another part of this year's agenda for the district is informing district voters of the board's decision for a $105.7 million bond issue to accommodate for the new students.
"Helping our voters understand the need for bigger facilities is going to be a major portion of what we're doing in the fall," Zoellner said.