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Munoz gets good grade, bonus from Rochester School Board

The Rochester School Board likes the job Superintendent Michael Muñoz is doing.

On Tuesday, after the board held a closed session to evaluate Muñoz's performance, board chairman Gary Smith announced it was supplementing his contract with a $9,000 bonus and would seek to negotiate an extension of his contract after July 1. Muñoz is near the end of his second year of a three-year contract.

"We want to send a strong message to Mr. Muñoz and the community that we value his leadership and service," Smith said from a prepared statement. "What should be clear from all of this is that the board intends, within reason, to do everything it can to retain the services of Mr. Muñoz beyond the existing contract."

The board also agreed to increase the district's contribution to his health-care plan by $193, Smith said.

Smith said the decision to reward Muñoz's service with a $9,000 bonus wasn't simply "to be nice" but to ensure the superintendent's compensation was competitive with superintendents of similarly sized districts. Muñoz makes $181,000, so the bonus money will bring his total compensation to $190,000.


Smith said state law only allows boards to negotiate a subsequent superintendent's contract in the last year of the current contract, which would start July 1 for Muñoz.

"We want to make our intentions known that we want to keep him," Smith said.

The board didn't go into detail about what it liked about his performance or how it might be improved. Smith indicated that information was private, and the only specific information available to the public with regard to the evaluation would be a summary of the process. The period of time covered by the evaluation was from June 6, 2012, to today. This is the second time the board has evaluated Muñoz.

Since arriving nearly two years ago from Des Moines School District, Muñoz has been a visible leader, present at numerous sporting, public and academic events.

He is credited with repairing relations with a community that was divided over the leadership of his predecessor, Romain Dallemand. He also has been a big proponent of technology's potential in engaging students in education. But his most high-profile plan, an effort to get an iPad tablet in every student's hands, was dealt a setback last year when the Minnesota Department of Education vetoed it.

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