Board to work on employment contract

By Edie Grossfield

Now that the Rochester School Board has selected who it wants for superintendent, the next step is to negotiate a contract with him.

During the next few weeks, board chairwoman Cris Fischer and members Breanna Bly and Fred Daly will discuss the details of a contract — most likely three years — with Romain Dallemand, currently the assistant superintendent of special education for Hartford, Conn., public schools.

During a meeting Wednesday morning, the board voted in favor of Dallemand over the other finalist Michael Ludwell, superintendent of Manchester, N.H., public schools.


Dallemand’s contract likely will come up for approval at the May 1 school board meeting, Fischer said. His official start date has not yet been determined, although Superintendent Jerry Williams’ last day will be June 30.

Guided by consultants from McPherson & Jacobson, an executive search firm based in Omaha, Neb., the board probably is looking at an annual compensation package for Dallemand of about $200,000.

Information sent out to prospective applicants for the position listed a salary range of between $165,000 to $175,000. Added to that would be the district’s health insurance coverage, sick days, vacation days and other details that are part of any basic contract, Fischer said.

Williams’ annual salary is $135,400, not including benefits, and that’s significantly lower than the industry standard, the search consultants said. It’s also much lower than superintendent salaries in comparable Minnesota districts.

The search consultants called Dallemand Wednesday morning to inform him of the board’s decision. Fischer also called to congratulate him.

"We had a great conversation," she said. "He is very excited about coming here and he’s well aware of the fact that we are 100 percent in support of his superintendency and coming to Rochester."

Dallemand probably will move to Rochester some time in June, he said, however, he’s not sure whether his family — he and his wife have two school-age children — will come with him right away.

"This is a discussion with my wife. I have a job in Rochester. Now, we’re going to work on getting her one," he said.


His wife is a cardiovascular technician and perfusionist. Obviously, her chances of finding a job in Rochester are pretty good, he added with a chuckle.

During his first year in Rochester, Dallemand said he will consider himself a cultural anthropologist.

"It’s going to be all about meeting with stakeholders, meeting with the business community, meeting with parents, staff, administrators, so I can learn everything there is to learn about the community," he said.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.