William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board members unanimously agreed to a one-year contract extension for Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht, citing her strong leadership skills and her accomplishments in the position.
The decision to extend Engbrecht’s contract through June 30, 2019 was approved at Wednesday’s board meeting. Her contract was previously set to expire at the end of June.
“Ms. Engbrecht has done what we (the board) believe is an outstanding job,” Board President Steve Sturgeon said. “We think she’s done an admirable job of helping to create a cohesive team that is working together at the district level and builds a great coalition and a positive energy from the management team here at this building and all the way out to our 23 sites.”
Engbrecht’s contract extension also includes an amendment to its work year to 212 days for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 calendar years, and amends the health benefits to be received after retirement to two-party for Engbrecht and her spouse.
However, the contract extension did not result in any changes to salary compensation, according to Sturgeon.
“If she left yesterday, she could earn 105 percent of what she’s going to earn tomorrow for the next year, so she does this out of love for the district, out of her passion for not only the teaching career she’s had, but also her leadership skills that she’s brought to this,” Sturgeon said.
Engbrecht, who has served as the district’s superintendent for four years, was named “superintendent-elect” in November 2014 and assumed the superintendent position in February 2015 after former superintendent Rob Challinor retired.
Her initial contract ran until June 30, 2016, before the Governing Board extended her contract for another two years through June 30, 2018.
Before being named superintendent, Engbrecht, who has been in the district for more than four decades, acted as the assistant superintendent of educational services, director of curriculum and assessment and as principal of Canyon High School.
“I think that Mrs. Engbrecht has done a wonderful job, having her as my principal first where she did a wonderful job and then moving into to superintendent here,” Assistant Clerk Linda Storli said. “Promoting from within with someone who knows the district, I think, is the way to go all of the time.”
Clerk Bob Jensen and board member Cherise Moore shared their appreciation for Engbrecht’s work to improve the district.
“I’ve known you since we were colleagues and I’ve enjoyed seeing how you’re moving this district forward,” Moore said to Engbrecht at Wednesday’s meeting.
Board member Joe Messina also thanked Engbrecht for her friendship and for teaching him how to approach situations in a different way.
“I’ve learned a lot from you over the past few years and I truly thank you for staying on for at least another year,” he said.
Saugus High School senior and Student Board Member Scott Watson, who has only known Engbrecht as his superintendent during his high school career, also echoed other board members comments about Engbrecht’s leadership.
“I noticed drastic changes in policies and in the way the school district has operated and all those changes have been positive,” Watson said. “While I won’t be here next year, I am almost certain that your leadership will bring more benefits to the school district.”
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