NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 26, 2012

Former school heads rehired on per-diem basis

AMESBURY — The Amesbury school system has brought back two high-ranking school officials, rehiring both retired Amesbury High School Principal Les Murray and retired Superintendent David Jack within the past couple months on a part-time basis.

According to Superintendent Michele Robinson, Murray is working as a special education consultant, while Jack is filling in as the interim business administrator for the schools until new Assistant Superintendent Deirdre Farrell is able to start in mid-December.

Jack served as superintendent of schools in Amesbury from 2009 to 2011, and prior to that, he worked as assistant superintendent of finance, while Murray spent a decade in the Amesbury school system. According to Robinson, Jack is earning $690 a day in his role, while Murray is making $500 a day on an as-needed basis.

“It will be ongoing for the year, but as needed, not every day,” Robinson said of Murray.

Both men retired on July 1, 2011 and are still collecting pensions through the state. According to the state Open Checkbook website, Murray is collecting an $86,710 annual pension, while Jack is collecting $47,850 annually.

Robinson said that Murray was brought in about a month ago to help facilitate the district’s special education students who are on Individualized Education Programs. One of his primary responsibilities is to represent the city in IEP meetings.

“There are a series of meetings annually where you have to check in and make sure the services they’re receiving are meeting their individual needs,” Robinson said. “These are laws and procedures that are governed by the federal government.”

Over the past year, the Amesbury school system has been working to expand its special education program to lessen having students placed out-of-district, which can be very costly to the schools. Last year, six special education students were placed in out-of-district schools, including three who required one-on-one services and transportation. The total price tag wound up being $365,768, or $60,961 per student.

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