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June 20, 2014

School chief up for new contract, salary hike

Scully's pact expires at the end of June

HAVERHILL — The clock is ticking on Superintendent James Scully’s contract. It expires June 30.

Scully came out of retirement in 2010 to temporarily head the school district while the School Committee searched for a permanent leader. Scully was given the permanent job after six months and now, more than four years later, has settled comfortably into the position and appears poised for a new, long-term deal.

A former Lawrence superintendent, Scully was principal of Haverhill’s Consentino School from 2002 to 2007.

Scully, 66, said he’s interested in leading the schools for at least three more years and possibly longer, or until the new Hunking School he helped secure voter approval for two weeks ago is built. The new, $61.5 million kindergarten to grade 8 school is expected to open to students in 2017.

The superintendent said he is also looking for a bump in his $185,000 annual salary.

“I’d like to be here for three or four more years and see the new school open and make sure it’s done the right way,” Scully said. “And yes, I’d like a salary adjustment.”

Scully said he willing to stay on after his contract expires in two weeks, as long as renewal talks appear to be heading in the right direction.

School Committee members Scott Wood and Maura Ryan-Ciardiello are handling negotiations with Scully. Wood said they met with Scully for the first time last week and expect to hold another session soon.

Wood said the committee wants Scully to stay. The only issues, he said, are pay and length of contract. Any agreement worked out with the superintendent by Wood and Ryan-Ciardiello would then go the full School Committee for final approval.

“He’s done a good job with test scores, with keeping buildings clean and with making improvements to the athletic and band programs,” Wood said. “And he’s brought a lot more accountability to teachers and other staff.”

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