Newspaper obtains Upper Perkiomen interim superintendent contract details

PENNSBURG — Timothy Kirby could make a maximum of $138,900 filling in as superintendent for the district that gave him an above-standard retirement package two years ago, but only if the school board has not found a new superintendent by July 2015.

Kirby was officially named Upper Perkiomen School District’s interim superintendent last month by unanimous vote of the school board. The Mercury, a sister paper of The Time Herald, has — through a Right-to-Know request — obtained the details of the agreement, which takes effect July 1.

Although the maximum he could make on paper is $138,900, Kirby estimates that he would make approximately $100,000 if the contract goes for its full length due to real-world scheduling.

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Kirby will make $335 per day “actually worked” while serving as interim superintendent from July 1 through Dec. 31 2014.

In addition to running the district, Kirby will also be in charge of the search to identify a new permanent superintendent, according to Upper Perkiomen School Board President William Scott.

If a replacement superintendent isn’t found and hired by 2015, Kirby’s pay, per day, rises by $400 to $735 per day.

He would receive that pay until June 30, 2015, the expiration point of the contract.

By the strictest math, working every weekday until Dec. 31, Kirby would make $43,350, although several holidays like Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, would bring the total down.

In 2015, Kirby could make as much as $95,550, but again, he would not be paid for holidays like Martin Luther King Day during that period.

Contacted Tuesday, Kirby estimated that his pay, if the contract goes all the way to the end of June next year, would earn him approximately $100,000.

“It was somewhat win-win,” Kirby said. “They would be paying me $75,000 (in 2015) or $30,000 (in 2014), which would be lower than anywhere (for a superintendent).”

Kirby receives as much as $12,456.66 per month through his Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) pension plan. He may directly receive less due to a special option he chose which puts money away for a potential survivor upon his death.

A representative for the Public School Employees’ Retirement System said that since Kirby is serving in an “emergency” capacity, his pension remains unaffected and he will continue to receive it, uninterrupted.

Additionally, the contract provides for the district to pay up to $55,000 worth of health care premiums for Kirby’s wife.

That would be voided if Kirby “voluntarily terminates this agreement prior to Dec. 31, 2014 or if he is discharged ... in accordance with the school code prior to Dec. 31, 2014.”

“However, this provision shall otherwise remain valid and intact and survive termination of this agreement, including in the event the board and Dr. Kirby mutually agree to terminate this agreement prior to Dec. 31, 2014 because a successor has been appointed,” the contract stated.

Kirby said he negotiated for the health care coverage for his wife, but he declined to speak about any potential medical issue she may be facing.

He said the way the coverage is negotiated, his wife would either hit the $55,000 or turn 65 years old.

“Either the money runs out or she reaches 65, whatever is beneficial for the district,” Kirby said.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.