It's official: Dr. Thomas Kingston will be the one-year interim superintendent for Belmont Schools after theunanimously approved a non-renewing contract with the Arlington native this morning, June 24.
The 5-0 vote – School Committee member Becky Vose was not at the meeting – will allow the outgoing superintendent of the Chelsea Public Schools to begin his new job July 1 leading the district's 4,000 students in addition to teachers and staff through the 2011-12 school year.
Kingston will make $150,000 for his one year at the helm in Belmont. His salary is less than the $175,000 annual base salary for Dr. George Entwistle, .
Entwistle's salary remained constant over the two years as he rejected an anticipated pay raise at the beginning of the 2010-2011 year due to the financial difficulties facing the district at the time.
In addition to salary, Entwistle received a $9,500 annual annuity, a perk that Kingston will not receive.
In addition to pay, the two sides agreed since he accepted a reduced salary, Kingston will be able to continue his involvement in the New Superintendents' Induction Program, a mentoring course run by the Massachusetts Association for School Superintendents (MASS) for newly-appointed superintendents.
Kingston is "entitled to 270 hours of leave (nearly seven weeks of 40-hour work week ) to be used intermittently throughout the year," for which he will be paid $25,000 by MASS.
School Committee Chairwoman Laurie Graham said Kingston will provide the committee a calendar of the days – mainly half days or less – and times he will be away mentoring.
She also said that Kingston's time away from the office will not be clustered but spread out over the year, "so it won't be disruptive to his running of the schools,"said Graham, noting the agreement is similar to one he had at Chelsea and that MASS has with supers across the state.
Graham said that Kingston's involvement in the MASS mentoring course "brings a lot to this district" in highly-sought after leadership skills. Graham noted that Kingston successfully mentored a teacher in the Chelsea schools who became his successor.
He's fully capable "of fulfill this job," said the School Committee's Karen Parmett.
Kingston told the Committee that he has one other outside compensation: $11,500 a year as a church organist in Arlington.
In addition to 12 paid vacation days and 10 available sick days, Kingston will have the benefit of using a Blackberry smart phone, courtesy of the school department.