A new contract for longtime Waukesha Superintendent Todd Gray has been approved.

With the new two-year deal, his service to the district will now extend through June 30, 2019. The Waukesha School Board voted its approval during its Jan. 11 meeting.

Earning praise

Board President Joseph Como commented how Gray continues to move the district forward with his vision, selection of his leadership team and with his ideas. Gray has been with the district for nine years.

In late 2015, the board approved a 4.1 percent raise for him, bringing his salary to $178,000.

During the 2015 board meeting, Como explained there were two reasons the board felt a raise for Gray was warranted. Gray earned his doctorate and his performance simply justified a raise.

"He continues to move education forward," Como said.

Board member Kurt O’Bryan stated since Gray started, the finances of the district has improved and continues to improve. Transportation costs have also dropped dramatically in the district since Waukesha switched busing companies. Gray also has transitioned the district into being self-insured.

Gray also dealt with the eight-year-long lawsuit against a company for failed investments, which was recently settled.

O’Bryan said Gray has "probably saved the district $10 million a year."

Responding the praise, Gray said that while he appreciated the thanks, credit goes to this staff.

"Thank you for letting me hire really good people," Gray said.

Retirements OK'd

Gray's contract wasn't the only noteworthy personnel item on the board's agenda this month.

At the Jan. 11 meeting, Como thanked Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Bonnie Schlais and Director of Educator Development Sara Behrendt for the years of service. Both plan to retire at the year’s end.

He praised Behrendt for her ability to serve many roles in the district as well as jumping in to solve problems over the past 50 years.

Como said he could personally attest to the fantastic leadership Schlais has. He commented she has great ideas and gets parents involved.

"She runs a great ship," Como said.

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