Published in the January 28, 2016 edition


NORTH READING — Two months after Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard received a positive review for his first year on the job, the School Committee voted to extend the superintendent’s contract last week.

Bernard’s contract was extended until June 30, 2019, which School Committee Vice Chairman Mel Webster said will give Bernard a full three–year contract. The superintendent will also be receiving a 2 percent raise beginning July 1, which is for the first year of the contract.

“We will revisit the compensation every year,” said Webster.

Bernard’s current salary is $160,000. The raise will increase that to $163,200.

The superintendent  thanked the School Committee for extending his contract in an interview with the Transcript.

“I am honored and humbled the School Committee has confidence in my performance,” said Bernard. “I am very happy here in North Reading. It’s a great place to work.”

The School Committee evaluated Bernard using the state mandated educator evaluation system in November, where he was given an overall rating of “proficient.” The state defines proficient as “fully satisfactory” and is a “rigorous, expected level of performance.”

School Committee member Jerry Venezia commended Bernard’s first year on the job.

“I think Jon has done a tremendous job over the last year,” said Venezia. “I am really comfortable doing this and I think it’s in the best interest of the committee and the district to extend Jon’s contract.”

Webster noted Bernard “did not have an easy act to follow” after he became superintendent in October 2014 after former Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Willis retired.

“Jon came in the middle of the school year and he has faced a lot of issues that are unrelated to educating our students,” said Webster. “I think Jon has done a great job and I am looking forward to working with him the next three years if I get re–elected.”

Webster also noted Bernard “works really well” with Assistant Superintendent of Schools Patrick Daly and Finance Director Michael Connelly.

“I think it works great,” said Webster.

Venezia agreed.

“I respect any person in charge who is willing to delegate a lot of authority to his co-administrators,” said Venezia.

School Committee member Julie Koepke echoed Venezia and Webster’s comments.

“Jon truly puts the students at the forefront of every decision he makes,” said Koepke.