News center
Premium-quality after-sales assistance

New contract approved for Decatur Superintendent Rochelle Clark

Oct 15, 2023

DECATUR — The Decatur Public Schools Board of Education has approved a new three-year contract with Superintendent Rochelle Clark.


The contract runs from July 1 until June 30, 2026 and replaces the previous contract that was approved when Clark was named to the position in February 2022. That agreement set Clark's pay at $206,000 for the current year and indicated that salary amounts for future years would be set by agreement between the board and Clark.

Under the new contract, Clark's salary will rise to:

The contract is linked to student performance and academic improvement. Clark will be required to develop related goals and submit them to the board for its approval no later than October.

The board also may choose to extend the contract up to five more years at the end of any year of the contract.

"I just want to express for me and, I hope, for many others, appreciation for Dr. Clark," said board member Fred Spannaus. "You've brought a sense of stability, knowing where the problems are and going at them full force to deal with them, and that's exactly what this community and district need."

Board President Andrew Taylor agreed.

"Thank you for your service," Taylor said. "I appreciate your hard work and as I've said before, I hope you're sitting in that chair when my kids graduate high school."

Rochelle Clark addresses the Decatur Board of Education and others in attendance after being named superintendent on Tuesday night.

While the board has yet to award building contracts for construction of a new K-8 magnet school facility, members agreed Tuesday to move forward with buying some equipment that could take a long time to arrive.

The school, future home of American Dreamer STEM Academy, is to be built on the site of the former Oak Grove School, at the corner of Home Park and Center Street. The work is to be funded from federal COVID relief money through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in September.

Certain needed building materials have long lead times for delivery due to supply-chain issues, officials said, such as precast concrete wall panels, which can be delayed as much as eight months.

BLDD Architects advised the board that these materials should be ordered and on site as soon as feasible. General contractors will be awarded the materials during the construction process. The low bid, from Midwest Precast Concrete, was roughly $2.9 million, below the architects' projected cost of roughly $3.1 million.

"These are critical items for the schedule so getting them in a timely manner is critical," said Steve Oliver of BLDD. "I've never seen anything with this long of a lead time in my 35-year career and it changes daily."

A low bid was also accepted for the main electrical switchgear, which has a lead time of up to 16 months. Dunker Electric was the only supplier able to meet the projected delivery date of August 2024, at a cost of $98,733. That cost will also be covered by ESSER funds.

The third bid accepted, for air conditioning system chillers, was awarded to Trane for $169,671 with a projected delivery date of 336 days. The chillers must be on site prior to the electrical switchgear.

During board discussion, board member Kevin Collins-Brown asked if Clark could look into the possibility of designating graduates valedictorian and salutatorian, which the district stopped doing in 2009.

That year, the designations were changed to "summa cum laude," "magna cum laude" and "cum laude." Collins-Brown said he understood the change but hoped it was possible to also announce that a student qualified for the valedictorian or salutatorian designation as he or she walks across the stage to receive a diploma. Clark said she would investigate that.

The 52nd Decatur Turkey Tournament wraps up on Saturday with four games. MacArthur faces Bolingbrook at 7:30 p.m. in the championship game.

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter

Get our local education coverage delivered directly to your inbox.

Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Herald & Review.

Preliminary election results indicate that Bill Clevenger, Will Wetzel and Mark Reynolds will fill the three open seats on the Decatur school board.

I’ve heard the school board candidates members are looking for answers about changes they wish to make to our school district.

Teacher Ready is a program in Decatur Public Schools that provides tuition reimbursement for long-term substitutes to earn a teaching license …

This is a developing story that will be updated.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Three new Decatur school board members will be seated after Tuesday's election results are canvassed in two weeks. They will likely be Bill Cl…

The Decatur school board had a first look at BLDD Architects' estimated costs for the new American Dreamer STEM Academy to be built on the sit…

A plan to transform the former Garfield School on West Grand Avenue into senior living apartments could give new life to the only empty school…

After a heated discussion, the Decatur Public Schools board of education voted 5-2 on Tuesday to build a new school on the site of the now-dem…

Author and coach Kathy Bresnahan will speak at Eisenhower High School at 6 p.m. Friday, April 28.