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Jacobus gets three-year contract extension

Keith Jacobus

Superintendent Keith Jacobus will lead South Washington County Schools for three more years.

The District 833 School Board last week approved a new three-year contract for Jacobus that includes annual salary increases and keeps him with the district through June 2021.

Jacobus is in his sixth year with the district, and the contract extension followed a glowing performance evaluation from the board earlier this fall. It also comes on the heels of the district's successful levy referendum last month.

"I am humbled by the confidence the board has shown in me and look forward to the opportunity to continue our work together helping students learn and grow," Jacobus said.

The new deal will give Jacobus pay increases of 4 percent the first year and 3 percent in each of the following two years — a 3.33 percent annual average. Jacobus earns $199,355 this year, according to contract terms.

"As the district's chief executive officer, Dr. Jacobus' compensation should reflect his job performance," School Board Chairwoman Katy McElwee-Stevens said as the board unanimously approved the contract renewal Thursday, Dec. 7.

The salary increases are in line with comparable districts, McElwee-Stevens said. District 833 is the state's sixth-largest. Next year, Jacobus will earn less than superintendents of the fifth-, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-largest districts. Superintendents of Minnesota's two largest districts as well as those leading smaller districts make more than Jacobus, McElwee-Stevens noted.

McElwee-Stevens said she approached Jacobus with the proposed raises and he accepted.

Over Jacobus' six-year tenure in District 833 he has received annual increases of 2.83 percent. He skipped an increase one year while the district faced budget cuts.

The board compared Jacobus' pay increases with teacher compensation. Teachers have received annual pay increases of 2.89 percent over the past six years, McElwee-Stevens said.

Jacobus' new contract also includes, at his request, the ability for him to obtain an "executive physical" through Mayo Clinic.

The board believes there is mutual interest in Jacobus maintaining his health, McElwee-Stevens said.

Another contract change reduces the advance notice Jacobus must provide if he intends to terminate the contract early from 150 days to 120 days. That puts it in line with other districts, McElwee-Stevens said.

The contract will run from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2021.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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