Pack getting $172K as part of buyout agreement

With terms of a separation agreement complete, outgoing Monroe County school Superintendent Anthony Pack is taking home more than $172,000 in the deal.

Both Pack and the school board had a hand in the agreement, and Pack was not fired, Assistant Superintendent Jackson Daniel said Monday.

“This was an agreement that was mutually arrived at by Mr. Pack and the board,” Daniel said, noting that he wasn’t certain who initiated discussions about the eventual pact.

The board voted Saturday to accept the deal, with the financial terms amounting to a one-year “salary package” for Pack, whose base salary for the 2015-16 school year would have been $136,700.

Pack’s lawyer, David Dorer, described the move as a buyout initiated by the school board. The official agreement cites paragraph 10 of Pack’s contract, which includes a provision for “no-cause” separations.

“The board may terminate this agreement, without cause, by giving thirty days written notice to the superintendent and agreeing to pay as severance twelve months of aggregate salary and benefits,” the contract says.

Dorer said his client had not been given 30 days notice but did agree to the buyout terms.

The “without cause” designation means that in the board’s view, Pack has done nothing wrong in his post. There is an ongoing investigation into the former superintendent’s use of school-issued electronic devices.

Dorer said it was his understanding that the move was in response to Pack’s extended medical leave that began in mid-March.

Pack felt confident he could get back to the job before school starts in August, Dorer said, but he was nearing the end of his allotted leave time.

“The issue is that he has these medical issues that he’s dealing with,” Dorer said of Pack. “They need a leadership position more quickly” than August.

Dorer added that while Pack was “happy” with the terms of the agreement, he had not wanted to leave his post in Monroe County. Pack will pursue a superintendent’s job elsewhere.

“That’s what he’s most qualified for,” Dorer said, citing the district’s academic gains and fiscal responsibility under Pack’s leadership. “Efficient use of their budget is something he’s very proud of.”

School board Chairman J. Ray Grant mentioned the quality of Pack’s leadership in a statement on the district’s website.

“Mr. Pack has always placed the best interest of the students at the forefront of the school system,” Grant said. “His efforts have been reflected in the success of our students and our schools. For that we are and will continue to be most appreciative.”

In the midst of his professional issues, which included announcing that he is gay, Pack has been going through a divorce with his now ex-wife, Rebecca. While Dorer would not say how much impact the divorce had on the eventual agreement, he said that caring for his family, which includes two sons, was a priority for Pack.

“I can say that all of these circumstances have weighed very heavily on his personal life,” Dorer said. “The mother of his children and his children have been exposed to media scrutiny that they are not usually familiar with.”

With Mary Persons High School holding its graduation this past Friday, Daniel said district officials were glad to resolve the issue in time to look ahead to next school year. Assistant Superintendent Mike Hickman will serve as interim superintendent.

“Today’s the first day of a new school year, in our opinion,” Daniel said. “So this allows us to move forward.”