INCOMING BOSTON school superintendent Brenda Cassellius signed a three-year contract with the city that provides some of the standard perks for a top-level hire, including reimbursement for moving expenses involved in her relocation from Minnesota to Boston.
But the agreement goes a step further than that with an unusual provision that seems to anticipate address changes by the new school leader even after her arrival Boston. The contract includes language covering Cassellius’s expenses for moves up to once per year within Boston.
“As it is the superintendent’s intent to familiarize herself with the various areas and neighborhoods of the city by periodically changing her residence within the city, the [school] committee will pay relocation expenses for such intra-city relocation, not to exceed one time every twelve months,” Cassellius’s contract states.
In another unusual provision that didn’t appear in the contract of her predecessor, Tommy Chang, Cassellius is also entitled to the services of an executive coach.
“Recognizing the nature of the difficult work facing the superintendent and the need for a thought partner and executive coach, the [school] committee will provide for expenses of an executive coach of the superintendent’s choosing . . . . up to $10,000 in any given contract year,” reads her agreement.
Another provision is not a perk, but a limit, on her outside earnings, calling for any honoraria Cassellius might receive to go to a fund to aid needy Boston students.
“Given the superintendent’s national work and reputation, she is often asked to attend conferences and share best practices or participate in scholarly activities,” her contract states. “If an honorarium or fee is paid, upon approval of the school committee, the superintendent can accept it . . . and deposit in in a special activities account that will be established for the use of an angel fund for students who cannot afford fees for co-curriculars, clubs and other activities as the superintendent sees fit.”
Cassellius’s contract also recognizes that she will be working long hours.
“Because the superintendent’s workday frequently begins before and extends beyond normal working hours, time off during the day for personal reasons or business will be allowed without loss of pay or deduction from personal or vacation leave,” her contact states.
Cassellius also gets her expenses reimbursed for trips to meetings and for membership dues, along with $500 a month for use of her personal vehicle.
One of three finalists for the superintendent’s position, Cassellius will earn a starting salary of $280,000 —$23,000 more than Chang’s starting pay when he arrived 2015. She is guaranteed at least a 2 percent salary increase every year, but could receive more based on her annual performance review by the School Committee.
Cassellius is required to reside in Boston and must get a comprehensive medical examination every year, according to her contract.
If Cassellius is dismissed without cause, she will get one year of severance pay plus accrued vacation days. When Chang exited before his contract was up, he walked away with $267,000 plus payment for accrued vacation time and personal paid time off.