OLEAN — Rick Moore will be paid a salary of $170,000 in his first year as Olean City School District superintendent.
While the three-year contract with the OCSD Board of Education will pay Moore the base salary in the 2017-18 school year, his salary in subsequent years will be determined by the board no later than July 31 of each year. Per the language of the contract, the salary must be equal or more than the salary paid the previous year.
The Olean Times Herald obtained a copy of Moore’s contract through a Freedom of Information Law request.
Details of the contract were not available when the board appointed Moore May 31 because Moore had yet to sign the contract, which then-Board President Michiko McElfresh said was due to several typos being discovered in it. Moore signed June 9, while McElfresh signed June 14.
The first-year salary of $170,000 falls in the range of what the board agreed to offer its next superintendent. In a December special meeting with search consultant Alan Pole, board members set a salary range of $150,000 to $175,000.
It will be a considerable pay bump for Moore, who according to New York State Education Department data was paid a $132,520 salary for the 2016-17 school year as superintendent of Belleville Henderson Central School District, which has an enrollment of about 450 students. OCSD has about 2,000 students.
Retiring OCSD Superintendent Dr. Colleen Taggerty was paid a salary of $161,223 this past school year, according to state data.
The average superintendent salary in New York state for this upcoming school year will be $176,309, according to data compiled by the New York State School Boards Association. The average superintendent salary in Cattaraugus County will be $152,931.
Moore, a former Olean High School assistant principal and OCSD teacher, will be one of the highest-paid, if not the highest-paid, superintendent in the county. In addition to the OCSD, only the Allegany-Limestone and Ellicottville central school districts have budgeted for superintendent salaries of more than $165,000 for the 2017-18 school year, according to data recently released by the state education department.
The OCSD has only budgeted for a superintendent salary of $165,254, but the state clarifies the salaries were budgeted in May and are simply what the school districts expected to pay in the upcoming school year. Allegany-Limestone budgeted a superintendent salary of $166,430, while Ellicottville budgeted for $168,492.
Moore’s contract lists several benefits such as health insurance, holidays and vacation time, but does not state a total dollar amount the benefits will cost. The OCSD has budgeted $65,408 for superintendent benefits for next school year.
The contact states the board will meet at least once a year in either April or May to evaluate Moore’s performance and relationship with the board, and the evaluation will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.
The contract can be terminated due to disability of the superintendent, written resignation of the superintendent, termination upon agreement or discharge for cause. If the board discharges Moore for cause, he will have 14 days to request a hearing with a hearing officer appointed by the board.
Moore was terminated as Salamanca City Central School District superintendent in 2007 after less than three years on the job. The decision fell under a no fault clause, and the district’s Board of Education did not elaborate on its decision.
Moore told the Times Herald he was “in over (his) head” at Salamanca and “it kind of worked out better” for both him and the district that he went to the smaller Belleville Henderson Central School District, which hired him just a few months after his firing.
McElfresh said the board was confident in its hire despite Moore’s firing from Salamanca, stating roadblocks in professional careers can be a “learning experience.”
Moore begins his tenure Aug. 7.
(Contact reporter Tom Dinki at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @tomdinki)