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Gibbon signs contract for more than $149,200 per year

Lance Gibbon
Lance Gibbon's three-year contract was approved by the Oak Harbor School District Board last week. He starts as school district superintendent on July 1.
— image credit: Ron Newberry / Whidbey News-Times

Lance Gibbon’s first year as Oak Harbor School District superintendent will come with a higher salary than his longtime predecessor’s.

Gibbon, who takes the reins as superintendent on July 1, will earn a base salary of $149,209 during his first year on the job, which is roughly $12,000 more than Rick Schulte’s base salary during his final year as superintendent of the Oak Harbor schools.

Schulte’s 20-year streak as Oak Harbor schools chief ends June 30. Only three other active superintendents in Washington were in the same district longer.

Schulte is leaving for the Tri-Cities, where he will start as Richland School District superintendent on July 1.

Schulte earned an annual base salary of $137,312 over the past three years of his contract.

The Oak Harbor School District Board last week approved Gibbon’s three-year contract as superintendent.

Oak Harbor school board president Gary Wallin said that the discrepancy in salaries is a bit misleading because Schulte’s contract was frozen the past five years due to budget constraints.

That was about to change, Wallin said.

“We were planning on raising Rick’s contract this year also.”

When comparing the contracts, one also should factor in the difference in vacation days, Wallin said. Schulte had 30 annual days of vacation, while Gibbon lost five days of vacation and will have 25.

When compared with other school districts of similar size, Oak Harbor superintendent salaries are still well below the average, and Schulte’s was near the bottom.

Gibbon’s salary represents at least an upward move, Wallin said.

Schulte was planning to leave his position in Oak Harbor at the end of the 2013-14 school year before Richland came calling. He will earn an annual salary of $155,000 in Richland, a school district about twice the size of Oak Harbor’s with 11,700 students and 1,500 employees. He will be Richland’s third superintendent in three years.

Gibbon earned $112,112 as assistant superintendent this past year, ending a string of six years in that capacity.

Gibbon, 44, will oversee a school district that is made up of 10 schools, 650 employees and 5,500 students.

His contract also calls for the same benefits of other administrators in the district involving sick leave and contributions to insurance plans.

Gibbon’s contract will be reviewed by June 30 of each year to consider adjustments in compensation and benefits for the ensuing contract year.

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