Blaine votes — again — to extend superintendent’s contract

(UPDATED, 10:17 a.m., with financial details.)

It took a couple of months — and an open meetings complaint — but the Blaine County School District has agreed on a contract extension with Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes.

GwenCarol Holmes
GwenCarol Holmes

A divided school board passed the three-year contract extension Wednesday. Trustees Shawn Bennion, Rob Clayton and Carole Freund voted for the extension; trustees Cami Bustos and Elizabeth Corker voted against it.

Financial details were not mentioned in a news release issued by the district late Monday. But under the contract extension, Holmes will continue to receive her current salary of $173,880 per year. Holmes’ benefits are also unchanged; her benefits package includes an additional $250,000 life insurance policy, long-term disability insurance and a family health insurance plan.

Holmes was Idaho’s highest paid superintendent in 2014-15, earning a $168,000 salary.

The news release also made no reference to the contract renewal process, which was rocky at best.

On Nov. 17, trustees voted unanimously to extend Holmes’ contract through 2019.

The move surprised patrons and drew a rebuke from county Prosecutor Jim Thomas, who said trustees had failed to provide proper notice of their intent to consider a contract renewal.

Amidst the open meetings complaint, trustees nullified the contract renewal at their Dec. 8 meeting. The move left Holmes’ long-term status in limbo.

Holmes has been superintendent in Blaine County since 2014.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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