Superintendent’s contract terms revealed

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FRANKLIN—Dr. Michelle Rich Belle will earn $98,000 annually as the city’s new superintendent of schools.

School board Chairman Bill Scarboro released details of her contract Monday in response to a Freedom of Information request by The Tidewater News. Scarboro had initially withheld contract details after the school board voted unanimously Thursday night to hire Belle, who is currently an administrator in Cumberland County.

Under a two-year contract that expires June 30, 2011, Belle also will receive a $3,000 annuity annually and a $500 monthly car allowance.She could earn an annual bonus for improved academic performance by city students.

If the city school division and each of its three campuses — S.P. Morton Elementary, J.P. King Middle and Franklin High — earn Adequate Yearly Progress accreditation from the federal government and Standards of Learning accreditation from the state Department of Education, Belle will receive a $5,000 bonus.

Currently, S.P. Morton is the only school to be both AYP and SOL accredited. Franklin High is SOL accredited.

Belle is scheduled to begin work in Franklin on April 20.

“She’ll be here bright and early that Monday morning, which is the Monday after our spring break,” Scarboro said Monday.

Belle and her husband, Al, a coach in Cumberland County, spent Friday touring the division and getting to know administrators and teachers.

“She is very personable and relates very well with people,” Scarboro said, “but she’s got a firm side to her as well. From the few comments I received, people were very glad to meet her. She went to each campus, walked around and visited a few classrooms.”