Millstadt board hires new administrators, settles with current principal

News-DemocratJune 5, 2013 

Weeks after announcing Millstadt Consolidated School District 160 would hire one principal to head both of its public schools as a cost-savings measure, the school board on Tuesday hired a new principal and an assistant principal.

The board also has agreed to pay Kevin Juhas, the current principal of Millstadt Primary Center, $45,000 "to settle any and all claims." Juhas' contract was not renewed. His last day will be June 15.

A copy of the separation agreement approved by the board last month was obtained by the Belleville News-Democrat through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In addition, the Millstadt school district has agreed to pay all costs for family health insurance for Juhas for a period of six months, according to the agreement. Superintendent Jonathan Green said the health insurance costs are approximately $7,500.

Juhas served as principal of Millstadt Primary Center for five years. In March, the school board notified Juhas his contract would not be renewed.

Millstadt Consolidated School Principal Gary Huwer is retiring as of June 30.

On Tuesday, the school board hired Josh Lane as the principal and Sandra Pegg, a third-grade teacher, as the new assistant principal of Millstadt Consolidated School and Millstadt Primary Center.

Green said Lane will earn $87,000 a year, and Pegg's salary will be $75,000 a year.

The district is paying Huwer an annual salary of $101,335 and Juhas a salary of $77,500 for a total of just over $178,835. With benefits, Green estimated the total cost to employ Huwer and Juhas to be $208,000.

The new administrators, Lane and Pegg, will earn a combined salary of $162,000 -- $16,835 less than the district is paying Huwer and Juhas. In addition, Green said the benefits cost will go down for the district as Pegg doesn't take the benefits, and Lane's benefits are estimated to be $14,000 for a total cost of $176,000 for both Lane and Pegg's employment as administrators.

Green estimated the district will actually save at least $55,000annually by having one principal and an assistant principal, rather than two principals. That's because the district is already paying Pegg her annual teacher salary of $63,000 and will need to hire a teacher to replace Pegg. However, he said a new teacher salary is approximately $34,000, which is considerably less than what Pegg has been earning.

The board approved a three-year contract for Lane, and a one-year contract for Pegg. Both will begin their new positions July 1.

Lane, 32, is one of four assistant principals at Belleville East High School in Belleville. He previously taught social studies at East for seven years. He has a master's degree in education administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Illinois.

"Josh is a charismatic leader, and he has a really clear vision," Green said. He described Lane as a "very good communicator" who is "open minded" and "believes in a team aspect of working together."

Green said Pegg was selected for the assistant principal position because of her extensive experience.

"Ms. Pegg brings a lot to the table," he said, noting that she has filled in as administrator of Millstadt Consolidated School. "She understands the building and its staff."

Over the past 13 years, Pegg said, the faculty at Millstadt Consolidated School has taught her "so much. I'm impressed everyday by how much heart they put into what they do," she said. "I'm just really looking forward to the opportunity."

Pegg, 42, has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in education administration, both from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Pegg and her husband, John, live in Millstadt and have three children.

Lane, a 1999 graduate of Mascoutah High School, lives in Shiloh with his wife, Kari, and two small children. He said he plans to move his family to Millstadt.

"I feel fortunate to have this opportunity," he said. "I'm excited and ready to jump in with both feet."

Green said he's looking forward to the new school year and seeing the collaboration between Lane and Pegg.

"Previously, we had two separate principals. Now, we will have a hierarchy structure. Before, we had two castles. Now, we are trying to live all in the same castle," he said. "Both of the leaders we have picked bring strengths to the table that offset each other. They will work really well together."

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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