Rockwood schools’ 'top guy' could take massive pay cut to lead another district

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by Laura Hettiger / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 10:33 AM

(KMOV) -- A month after the Rockwood School Board extended Dr. Bruce Borchers contract, St. Louis County’s largest district might be looking for a new superintendent.

After three years in Rockwood, Borchers has been looking for a new job with a much smaller paycheck.

According to a spokesperson with the Oak Ridge School District, Borchers already interviewed with the Oak Ridge School District in Tennessee. He and his family will be back in the Knoxville-area district on Monday speaking with other educators and staff members.

“If we feel confident after Monday’s visit, then we will offer him a contract,” School Board Chairman Keys Fillauer said. “At this point in time, he is our top guy.”

Fillauer said the school board cut the search from seven down to three candidates after the first wave of interviews.

If Borchers leaves the 22,000-student district, he will also leave behind a $234,000 paycheck. He would take over a 4,500-student district for $175,000 a year. Fillauer had to ask why Borchers would want to take a $60,000 a year pay cut.

“He said he was looking to work in a smaller district,” Fillauer said. “He wants to work and watch his family.”

Rockwood School Board member Janet Strate said if the superintendent leaves, it will be a “huge loss” for the West County district.

At this point, it would be premature for us to talk about any future steps or plans. Once the Oak Ridge Board has made an official decision, we will be able to discuss how we are going to proceed.

We want to assure our staff and community that our focus remains on students and doing what is best for them.

Borchers released a statement Wednesday evening regarding his possible leaving.

“This is an opportunity for me and my family that we felt we had to consider. We are excited about the possibility of being a part of the Oak Ridge community and working with the staff and families in this district,” he said. “I have always believed - and will continue to believe - that Rockwood is an outstanding district. I am honored to serve as your superintendent. I look forward to what the future holds for both Rockwood and Oak Ridge.”

People in the Rockwood School District will head to the polls the day after Borchers meets with his possible new employer. Voters will decide on a bond issue called Prop S—a $38.4 million dollar loan for school safety, technology and building maintenance and upgrades. Taxes in the district would not go up if the bond passes.

 

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