David Lewis hired as Muscogee superintendent - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

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Contract details for new Muscogee County Superintendent David Lewis

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MCSD Superintendent David Lewis MCSD Superintendent David Lewis
Superintendent David Lewis sitting with Muscogee County School Board Superintendent David Lewis sitting with Muscogee County School Board
Superintendent David Lewis and his wife Superintendent David Lewis and his wife
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The Muscogee County School District has officially hired David Lewis as the new superintendent. He was unanimously approved by the school board during a Tuesday afternoon called board meeting.

He comes from Polk County, Florida where he served as the Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning.

Lewis was welcomed with a standing ovation and some laughs as Former Interim Superintendent Dr. John Phillips handed him his name plate. He will serve a three-year term.

After a year of searching, board members are finally happy the district has a permanent leader. "I'm real excited. The district can go forward. We can get new ideas from Mr. Lewis," said Board Member Naomi Buckner.

Lewis' base salary will be $170,000, which mirrors Former Superintendent Dr. Susan Andrews' salary. Their contracts share many similarities including a $600 a month car allowance for official use, reimbursement for any business travel and membership and conference fees for professional organizations.

When Dr. Phillips became superintendent in 2003 he started off making, less money, around $150,000. When he left in 2006 he was earning around $162,000.

The district will pay for all of Lewis' relocation expenses including up to six months of temporary housing.

In addition to 15 vacation days, he'll also get 10 days of professional leave for the next year and a half to complete his doctorate degree.

Starting Wednesday, Phillips will start work as a temporary assistant superintendent within the district to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. He'll hold that position through the end of August. He will be paid a combined $34,000 for the months of July and August, which includes his work as interim leader and assistant. The majority of the funds will come from the remaining $30,000 in the superintendent's $200,000 budget.

"We got one superintendent and we got an assistant superintendent but we are paying the price for two superintendents…. But it's only for six weeks… I wish we could do it for free, but some things don't come free," said Board Member Mark Cantrell.

In the school board's tight financial times, News 3 asked Board Chair Rob Varner why Dr. Phillips' salary wasn't lowered for his new position. "I don't know how I would answer that question, we didn't discuss that possibility... again his service is going to be valuable it's not wrong to pay him that amount of money when he is going to be providing such a wealth of information in a short period of time."

The district spent nearly $59.6 thousand and used two search firms to find the new superintendent.

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