IW superintendent’s contract extended

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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On Jan. 15, Isle of Wight County’s school board voted unanimously to approve a new contract with Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton, which now extends through the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

Thornton’s previous contract, which was last revised in 2017, would have expired at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. According to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs, Thornton had considered retiring after 2021, but recently requested to stay with the division in order to see the construction of a new Hardy Elementary and the renovation or replacement of Westside Elementary completed.

“He has past experience overseeing the construction of a school and can lend his knowledge to the upcoming construction projects,” Briggs said.

In accordance with Thornton’s 2017 contract, the superintendent’s salary was budgeted at $161,808 at the beginning of the current school year, and will remain so through June 30, 2020. The new contract, which took effect Jan. 16, specifies that he will receive a 2-percent raise at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, bringing his salary to just over $165,000. For the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, however, Thornton will receive another 2-percent raise only if the school board approves a 2-percent cost of living increase for all school division employees.

In addition to his base salary, the 2017 contract also specified that Thornton was to receive a $6,500 annuity each school year, which goes directly into his retirement account. This, Briggs confirmed, will continue with the 2020 contract.