Salem-Keizer School Board gives Superintendent Christy Perry three more years

Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry (Moriah Ratner/Special to Salem Reporter)

With one dissenting vote, the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday approved a three-year contract extension for Superintendent Christy Perry.

Perry, who has been superintendent since 2016, will earn $239,126 this year and $248,691 for the 2019-20 school year, with a 4 percent raise the following year.

Those raises are on top of the district’s annual cost of living adjustments.

The contract extends through June 2021.

Six of the board’s seven members praised Perry’s work, citing the long hours she put in to help the district pass a $620 million construction bond earlier this year.

“We so appreciate your leadership,” vice chair Sheronne Blasi said. “You have taken on a lot and you have focused on diversity and equity.”

The pay puts Perry among the top paid superintendents in Oregon, but behind the leader of Portland Public Schools, who makes $295,000 annually, and Beaverton, where the superintendent makes $272,950, according to Pamplin Media.

Board members acknowledged the figure was high, but said it’s in line with the responsibilities Perry has running the second-largest school district in the state.

“I think she deserves every penny of this,” board chair Kathy Goss said.

“We’ve put her in charge of providing educational services to over 45,000 students in the second-largest school district in the state and I think she’s done a very good job,” board member Jim Green said.

The lone no vote was from Paul Kyllo, who served as board chair last year and has at times been critical of Perry’s performance during board meetings.

Kyllo did not comment on his vote during the meeting, but said afterward he would have supported a two-year contract. He began negotiations with Perry on the current extension.

“The terms of the contract, except for the duration, were fine,” he said.

On Perry’s performance, he said there was “room for improvement” but did not elaborate.

Reporter Rachel Alexander: (503) 575-1241 or [email protected].