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Burlington superintendent to step down in June - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington superintendent to step down in June

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's official. After ongoing financial turmoil in the district, the Burlington School District superintendent is on her way out the door. The "separation and settlement agreement" was announced Tuesday night and comes with a six-figure payout.

After nearly a decade as superintendent, Jeanne Collins has agreed to step down June 30, two years before her contract runs out. This expensive move means the district will pay Collins $225,000 as severance.

"We have taken this responsibility very seriously and we believe that we have negotiated an agreement that complies with the parameters the board established,” said school board chair Patrick Halladay.

Collins has been the head of Burlington's school district for nine years. Collins has been under fire after a resounding budget defeat in March, and then the discovery of ongoing errors that led to repeated budget deficits, financial troubles that some community members say are Collins' fault.

"I called for Jeanne's resignation. I still call for Jeanne's resignation. We need leadership in this community at this time,” said Burlington parent Dan Feeney.

But others at the meeting didn't want to see her go.

“We, the administrators, have grown under leadership of Jeanne Collins over the last nine years,” said Brian Williams, the principal of the Sustainability Academy.

"She understands our school community. She has been through many crises and she can rise to the occasion of this one,” said BHS teacher Terry Buehner.

Collins is under contract until June 2016 with an annual salary of more than $130,000. The settlement states her last day will be June 30 of this year. The board is now looking to find her temporary replacement.

"If everything were to go perfectly according to plan, there would be maybe, as early as June 1, we would have identified an interim superintendent to move forward. Whether that is realistic or not I don't know. It’s an ambitious time line, but that is our hope that we would be able to do,” said Halladay.

The settlement contract also states that the district will provide Collins with a letter of recommendation that will outline the positive accomplishments she made during her time as superintendent. No word yet on how long it might take to find a permanent replacement.

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