Shouts of “four years more” filled the Community Center as Lemon Grove School District trustees extended Superintendent Ernie Anastos’ contract until 2016. With his current employment agreement expiring next June, a 5-0 vote added three years of service.
The contract comes with no salary increase this year. As with all employees for the past few years, the agreement includes furlough days—nine over the past two years. His total compensation for the past year was $191,016.
The district reviews contracts annually, and three- to five-year contracts are a common practice, Anastos said.
With the same vote of approval from the governing board, Dr. Gina Potter, assistant superintendent of business services, will remain for three more years. Her annual salary remains the same as it’s been for five and a half years—$129,492. She voluntarily gave 12 furlough days over the past two years to help the district get through the tough economic times.
Potter said she loves her work, and given the “tumultuous budget times” her focus is to keep the district fiscally solvent while still providing high-quality education.
“I find our school district to be a well-kept treasure and secret in that we are very much a family of students, parents, and staff members that strive each day to ensure that students come first,” she said.
With the new joint-used county library poised to open in early 2013 on the Lemon Grove Academy campus, Anastos said the intention is to build on the momentum with the many projects and programs on which the district is working.
“We will continue to develop our skills and focus on more deeply engaging students in their own learning,” he said. “We intend to maintain our record of continually improving student performance.”
With more than 40 years in the field of education, Anastos has been with the district for seven years in November. He came to Lemon Grove after 20 years in the Sweetwater Union High School District, where he served as an area superintendent. Prior to her current position, Potter was principal of Mount Vernon Elementary, and has been with the district for 10 years this month.
And in a fond farewell, the district honored Glenn Heath, the human resources director who is retiring after 23 years of service. Heath received a Shining Star Award in recognition of his dedication to children and exemplary leadership.
Anastos spoke of Heath’s integrity and professionalism, saying he had accomplished tremendous things for the district. Honoring his service to his hometown was “a long goodbye and a great celebration.”
“He is a true gentleman, and he has an amazing heart,” Anastos said.
Heath began his education as a student in Lemon Grove. During that time, he said he made the decision to devote his life to education, and called his time with the district “an honor and a privilege.”
Heath worked as a principle for 20 years, and ended his tenure as the district’s director of human resources.
“It's a great community, it's a small community,” he said. “The parents and the students are what made working for this district so special to me.”
The district is currently in the selection process for a new director of human resources.