School Committee approves $140,000 assistant superintendent contract

Richie Smith is currently principal of the Oak Bluffs School, and was a finalist for the job of superintendent.

Photo by Michael Cummo

The All-Island School Committee last week approved a three-year contract for Richie Smith, hired to be the new Martha’s Vineyard assistant superintendent of schools. The contract will pay him $140,000 in its first year. The vote was 10 to 3.

Mr. Smith is currently principal of the Oak Bluffs School, and was a finalist for the job of superintendent. He will remain at the helm in Oak Bluffs until the end of the school year.

Mr. Smith will replace Matt D’Andrea, who was picked to replace Superintendent James Weiss, who retires on June 30. At the meeting on March 18, Mr. D’Andrea spoke in favor of the contract, which he said is the same contract that he is currently working under with two exceptions, the term and the pay.

Mr. D’Andrea said Mr. Smith will make $125,000 this year. The assistant superintendent’s position was budgeted for $118,000. Mr. D’Andrea said there was no reason for Mr. Smith to move into a position of more responsibility with less money. “We are not taking a risk with Rich,” he said. “He knows the Island, and the focus on what we are doing for the kids. He is number two in the district; he should be paid like a number two.”

“Richie Smith is the right guy for the job,” Mr. D’Andrea said, calling it an investment.

School committee member Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter objected to the hike. “I think it is excessive for this position,”he said, “and above the amount budgeted for this position.”

Mr. Manter, Robert Lionette and Kate DeVane voted against the contract.

According to the terms of the contract, Mr. Smith’s job goals include: to provide leadership in the development, implementation, and coordination of the school system’s Pre-K–12 curriculum and instruction program; to provide leadership in the coordination and implementation of professional development; to act in place of the superintendent when appropriate.

The three-year contract includes an annual raise subject to a performance review; $1,500 for expenses associated with professional growth and development; $150 per month for vehicle expenses; 25 vacation days; 18 paid sick days, five of which can be used as personal days, with the ability to accumulate a maximum of 200 days which will be reimbursed at the rate of $30 per day upon retirement.

Mr. D’Andrea will receive a salary of $165,000 for two years, with a third year at $170,000. In addition, the contract calls for a car allowance, moving expenses, and five weeks of vacation.

That contract was approved with only Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter of West Tisbury voting no.