MAPS board offers Stoneman new five year deal

MANISTEE — Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education president Dr. Paul Antal announced on Wednesday evening that the district has come to an agreement on a new five-year contract with superintendent Ron Stoneman.

The Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education announced Wednesday that they have come to agreement on a new five-year contract with superintendent Ron Stoneman.

The Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education announced Wednesday that they have come to agreement on a new five-year contract with superintendent Ron Stoneman.

Antal said specifics of the contract will not be released until it is officially signed in the next two or three days by both parties. Then in accordance with law by transparency procedures the contract and its details will be posted on the school’s website for the public to view and will be reported on in an upcoming edition of the News Advocate.

When Stoneman was hired by the board on May 13, 2015, he received a three-year contract calling for a base salary of $113,000. He also received a payment of $15,300 a year as a non-elective contribution to a 403B annuity. Stoneman  also received a $600 a month car allowance. At that time his contract was in line with what former superintendent John Chandler was receiving from the district at that time.

The board president did make some comments about coming to an agreement and the negotiating process.

“We had ad hoc committee consisting of myself and board members Paul Wehrmeister and Jim Thompson, along with business manager Howard Vaas, in setting up the contract,” said Antal. “We took a look at what typical schools our size are paying their superintendents, his recent evaluation and prior employment agreements we had with previous superintendents. We also realized that looking back when we did hire Mr. Stoneman we did get him at a bargain and he was willing to come to us.”

Antal said retaining a superintendent that would keep the district moving forward is important to the board.

“In the interest of keeping our current process in place and seeing things through to their natural fruition and retaining a great superintendent, we came up with an agreement we feel will accomplish that with a five-year contract,” said Antal. “And it will have a bit of a salary raise.”

Fellow ad hoc committee member Wehrmeister also commented on the contract.

“I think we offered something comparable to other districts our size and Mr. Stoneman’s performance as a superintendent was some big leverage,” said Wehrmeister.

Antal said Thompson was not at the meeting because he was out of town, but that he was in agreement with the rest of the ad hoc committee on the contract.

The board then voted 6-0 to proceed with the process and to enter into an agreement with Stoneman on the contract.

Stoneman said he is pleased to be remaining with the district.

“We have so much good momentum and are going in the right direction, so I like the great possibilities ahead and look forward to finishing my career here,” said Stoneman. “I am looking forward to the work we have to do and it is really appealing to me. Mostly I am just humbled that you have this much faith in me and it is very motivating.”

Wednesday’s meeting also included an update on the track project.

“We are working with the Friends of the Manistee Community Track and those details belong with that group,” said Stoneman.

Stoneman said they currently have the potential to host three or four track meets this spring if they can raise the final $60,000 for equipment.

“It depends on the potential of this fundraising effort,” said Stoneman.

Board members also took official action to officially name the new track The Manistee Community Track.

“We have referenced this as The Manistee Community Track right from the groundbreaking and through all the fundraisers, so we are presenting this to the board to make it official,” said Stoneman.

Board members liked the idea and voted 6-0 to make that the official name of the track.

At the same time the board agreed to a recommendation from Manistee County Community Foundation executive director Laura Heintzelman to amend the name on the foundation accounts.

“It is for clarity reasons and just to make sure we are using the same title and words,” said Stoneman. “It took board action to set up the account and it will take board action to change the title.”

The board once again agreed on a 6-0 vote.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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