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Rochester School Board approves contract with interim superintendent

Pekel will have a salary of $223,000 for the year, $5,300 less than the $228,300 the district was originally set to pay the resigning superintendent, Michael Muñoz, over the same period.

Pekel mug.jpg
Kent Pekel, Ed.D. (Contributed photo)
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After offering him the position last week, the Rochester School Board approved a contract on Tuesday with incoming interim superintendent Kent Pekel.

The board approved the contract unanimously. Board Chair Jean Marvin said the contract came together quickly. It was finalized earlier in the day on Tuesday prior to the meeting.

"Negotiations with Dr. Pekel, who was offered the position with us Thursday night, went smoothly and quickly," Marvin said.

The contract will cover the period from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. July 1 is the day after the resignation of the district's current superintendent, Michael Muñoz, goes into effect.

Pekel will have a salary of $223,000 for the year, $5,300 less than the $228,300 the district was originally set to pay Muñoz over the same period prior to his resignation. In addition to his salary, the contract provides several other benefits. If he chooses to put money into a tax-sheltered annuity, the district will match his input dollar for dollar up to $2,750.

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Marvin briefly commented on Pekel's salary during the meeting.

"This is less than the current superintendent is earning, but is well within the parameters of what a superintendent for a district of this size, and with the expertise that Dr. Pekel has, would expect to earn," she said.

Although the district's contribution to a potential TSA for Pekel is the same as it was under Muñoz, Pekel is receiving a slightly smaller vehicle allowance. Pekel is scheduled to receive $400 a month, amounting to $4,800 a year, compared to the $600 a month Muñoz was set to receive during the same time period. Muñoz's vehicle allowance would have amounted to $7,200 over the course of the year, representing a difference of $2,400 in the vehicle allowance between the two superintendents.

Pekel will have 25 days of paid vacation for the length of his contract. He also will have one day of paid sick leave for each month of the contract.

Pekel Contract 2021-22 by inforumdocs on Scribd

Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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