Eau Claire School Board, Superintendent strike new contract deal

By  | 

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The future of the Eau Claire Area School District Superintendent's contract has been decided.

A vote Friday night by the Eau Claire School Board will keep Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck in the district's top spot through the 2019-2020 school year. After that she says she will retire.

Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck has been with the Eau Claire Area School District since 2012. The superintendent's current two-year contract ends June 30, 2019.

The decision to keep Dr. Hardebeck on for another year came during a special meeting scheduled Friday night after two meetings were cancelled due to weather.

When WEAU 13 News spoke with Dr. Hardebeck Friday night, she said over the next year and a half, she looks forward to building on the work she started and taking it to the next level, all while assisting the board with the search for her replacement.

“I'm willing to stay on another year and help with that transition,” says Dr. Hardebeck. “We want to make sure we get a highly qualified candidate. The board has asked me to do some mentoring and some transitioning and I’m looking forward to that work."

School board president Joe Luginbill says the unanimous vote Friday night on Dr.Hardebecks contract was a "mutual decision moving forward.”

Luginbill says the board and superintendent still have a year and a half of working together on issues like closing the achievement gap and advancing equity. The school board president adds having a smooth transition and working collaboratively with Dr. Hardebeck is what's best for the district.

“It's of course very important that as you have a search for an administrator, certainly the administrator of the 8th largest district in the state, that the incumbent in that role really can serve as a mentor and can serve as a person to kind of set the tone and really help the board in making sure that the process is as healthy as it can be," says Luginbill.

When asked about her plans after retirement, Dr. Hardebeck said, “It's an honor to serve in this community and you know my life's work has been about children and public schools and I think when I retire from ECASD, that work's going to continue and I don't see it ending.”

Dr. Hardebeck says she plans to discuss more at the Eau Claire School Board's next meeting set for February 18.