The Gardendale Board of Education officially has its first superintendent.
There was a round of applause throughout the crowded audience on Tuesday when the board approved the contract for Dr. Patrick Martin, who is currently superintendent of the Washington District 50 Schools in Illinois.
His wife Taren is the assistant head coach of the UAB Blazers women’s basketball team.
Martin will stay in Illinois for the next few weeks helping that district transition to a new superintendent. His first day on the job in Gardendale is Aug. 4.
Martin told board members and the audience that they can expect three things from him: A “kids first” system, good stewardship of community resources and “a school district with students and staff willing to take academic risks.”
Martin’s contract is for three years. His base salary is $165,000 a year. After the first year, the superintendent will receive a yearly salary increase of 3.5 percent if he receives a satisfactory annual evaluation by the board, according to his contract.
He also receives incentive pay upon the completion of each year of duty, in the amounts of $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000 on July 1, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, in addition to other incentive pay “for excellent performance” and for the “successful completion of the goals and/or performance objectives to be agreed upon for the 2015-2016 school year and years thereafter.”
The contract has an automatic extension option in June 2017 if the board makes no changes to the contract.
Board President Chris Segroves said he was drawn to a statement that Martin made during his public interview last month.
“He said, ‘I like to win,’” Segroves said. “I’m fully confident that our students will win in terms of student achievement ... we won too here in Gardendale.”
Martin’s first big task will be to negotiate a separation agreement with the new Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Craig Pouncey, whose first day was Tuesday.
If all goes according to plan, the Gardendale City School System’s doors will open in July 2015.
Note: This story was upsated at 8:48 a.m. Thursday to include additional salary details from the superintendent's contract.