2018-01-11 / Front Page

‘Interim’ S-B school chief may stay longer

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

Suttons Bay’s interim, part-time superintendent soon may be working more with “interim” dropped from his title.

Mike Carmean has expressed an interest in “suspending” his retirement to continue working for the school district during the 2018-19 school year.

“I truly love this district and see so much potential,” Carmean said Monday at the district’s monthly Board of Education meeting.

He left the room when board members discussed in open session his proposal to continue working beyond the scope of his current contract, which expires June 30.

Carmean’s part-time contact calls for 145 days of work, which is considered 60 percent of fulltime. His compensation is just under $60,000 and doesn’t include benefits.

He proposes to increase his salary and hours to 80 percent of full time in the 2018-19 school year.

While no specific wage was discussed at the board level, School Board members said Carmean’s pay will still be less than that paid to the district’s last full-time superintendent, Chris Nelson.

Carmean, who retired in June 2017 as superintendent of Sandusky Community Schools, was appointed on an interim basis to replace Nelson, who resigned abruptly in July of 2017.

Total compensation for Nelson during the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2016 was $169,471. The amount included a salary of $104,783, $37,593 for retirement benefits and $16,342 for health insurance.

Board members praised Carmean for work completed during his six-month tenure.

When he took over, the district’s relationship with teachers was fractured. Teacher layoffs were looming and the Suttons Bay Education Association had twice rejected the district’s proposal for a new contract. A state fact-finder had been called in to broker an agreement.

In the time since, a new contract has been approved, teacher layoffs were called off and planned layoffs to administrative employees have been nixed.

“He’s getting the job done and helping our district move forward in a good way,” Trustee Steve Hall said. “We’d be silly not to consider it.”

Carmean’s work was also recognized in a recent survey of school staff.

They were asked if they thought having a part-time superintendent was good or bad and what they thought of Carmean continuing on a part-time basis next year.

“The results were very positive,” he said.

All but two of the 31 respondents favored having Carmean continue.

“Those who didn’t favor it said it wasn’t based on (Carmean). They didn’t think the job of superintendent is something that can be done parttime,” said Cris Porter, administrative assistant to Carmean.

Trustee Dave Buffum said it’s time to secure Carmean’s services into the future.

Trustee Kim Eike agreed.

“We could use some stability,” he said.

No formal action was taken at Monday’s monthly meeting. The proposal will be reviewed by the district’s finance committee and brought back to the board for action at a later date.

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