Caldwell’s new leader signs $133,000 contract

Shalene French signed a three-year, $133,000-a-year contract last week to become the Caldwell School District’s new superintendent.

French is leaving the Bonneville School District near Idaho Falls, where she worked as human resources director. Her previous salary was $91,795, according to State Department of Education records.

Shalene French
Shalene French

French was a unanimous selection by the five Caldwell trustees — twice. The hiring process was kept secret and trustees signed “confidentiality statements” over resumes. The trustees interviewed three candidates during nine hours of closed meetings before selecting French on March 12. After a complaint filed by Idaho Education News, trustees admitted they violated open meeting laws when they hired French, and rescinded the job offer. On March 21 the board hired French again during an open meeting.

According to the contract, obtained Wednesday by Idaho EdNews, French’s start date is July 1 and she’s under contract to work 230 days a year. She is eligible to receive “standard” family health benefits. She will be reimbursed for “reasonable moving expenses” from her home in Rigby. She also will receive $100 per month for travel within the district’s boundaries, a cell phone and a laptop.

Caldwell’s previous superintendent, Tim Rosandick, was ousted in June under still-unexplained circumstances. He has remained under contract for 2015-16, in what the district calls a consulting role, at a $137,000 salary. District curriculum director Jodie Mills has spent the last year serving as the interim superintendent.

Blaine County School District superintendent GwenCarol Holmes is Idaho’s highest paid school leader and makes $173,000 per year.