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Rounds receives severance payment
Las Cruces Bulletin
At a special meeting on Tuesday, June 14, the Las Cruces Public Schools board of education accepted the resignation of long-time superintendent Stan Rounds, which includes a severance payment in the amount of $140,000. Rounds’ current contract ends June 30, 2017. Under the terms of the agreement he and the board signed Tuesday, Rounds will resign effective June 30, 2016. He will fulfill a training obligation with the University of Virginia Turnaround program in Virginia during the next few days and then be on paid leave until June 30.
Chief Financial and Operations Officer Terry Dean was named by the board as acting superintendent from June 15 to 30. On July 1, the board is expected to appoint an interim superintendent as it begins the search for Rounds’ permanent replace ment. Under the terms of his agreement with the board, Rounds will receive the $140,000 payment; the total employer costs to the district for the remaining 11 months of the contract is $216,183. Round’s annual salary is $175,906.
School board attorney Elena Gallegos said the severance funds will come from a surplus in the school district’s cash balance, which she said was expected to be $7.5 million at the end of this month but actually will be more than $9 million.
“The district is in a good fiscal position to render the severance payment to Mr. Rounds,” Gallegos said. The agreement, which was approved by the board on a five to zero vote, must now be approved by state district court and by New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera.
The meeting was chaired by board Vice President Chuck Davis in the absence of board President Maria Flores. Flores was in Michigan for a family event, but was linked to both the special meeting and a one-hour-and-20-minute closed meeting of the board.
By phone, she read a statement that both the board and Rounds had approved. It included this information: “On behalf of the entire district, the LCPS School Board expresses its appreciation to Mr. Rounds for his efforts while serving as superintendent of this great school district. Mr. Rounds thanks the current and past Board of Education for providing him with the opportunity to serve the Las Cruces Public Schools. Together we have:
• increased the graduation rate from 45 percent to 75 percent;
• graduated virtually 100 percent of the students eligible from Arrowhead Park Early College High School;
• successfully opened 1 new high school, 1 new elementary school, and 1 new middle school; and
• received strong community support for our bond and mill levies.
The Board extends its best wishes to Mr. Rounds in his future endeavors. On its part, the Board will soon begin its search for a new superintendent so as not to disrupt the district’s operations.”
Rounds received a standing ovation from most of the near-capacity crowd that attended the special meeting, including board Secretary Barbara Hall.