Board votes 4-1 to renew Snoqualmie schools superintendent Joel Aune's contract

Joel Aune, SVSD 410 Superintendent - Courtesy photo
Joel Aune, SVSD 410 Superintendent
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Snoqualmie Valley School District's top official, Superintendent Joel Aune, received a contract extension through 2015 in a split vote of the school board at its May 9 meeting.

Board member Carolyn Simpson, participating by phone, cast the sole “no” vote on the renewal.

The vote followed an executive session at the start of the board meeting, and there was no discussion on the action. Board President Scott Hodgins explained “This is personnel action, there will be no public discussion by the board on this subject, nor any public comment on the board’s decision.”

Simpson gave the reason for her vote in an e-mail message, in which she noted that Aune’s current contract expires in 2015, and the board had conducted “a lengthy performance evaluation.”

With a reference to the Washington State School Directors Association guidelines on superintendent contract decisions, Simpson wrote “I could not support extending this district financial obligation to 2016.”

However, she said her vote was in the minority and “I look forward to continue working with Superintendent Aune, the board, and the public as we address some major initiatives, which include the development of a strategic plan with reportable goals (the norm in the state and nation) to help guide district decision making, facilities planning, curriculum access and timing, and budgeting.”

Aune has been with the Snoqualmie Valley School District since 2005, but has recently been a top contender in the hiring process for a superintendent in the Renton and Richland School Districts. His contract with the school district states that the board can consider an extension of the contract annually, but state law caps superintendent contract terms at three years.

In 2010, his contract was renewed from 2010 to 2013, with a salary for the 2010-11 school year of $149,161. In 2011, his contract was renewed from 2013 to 2015, with a salary for the 2012-13 school year of $149,382, a .14 percent increase from 2010. The contract also allows a $600 monthly expense for using his personal vehicle on district business, and 25 vacation days annually.


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