School Board Approves Salary Adjustment for Superintendent

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Tuesday night, the Oswego Board of Education approved a salary adjustment (increase) for Bill Crist, the retiring Superintendent of Schools, for the 2012-13 school year. The rate is now $147,737.

The board also approved an amendment of the superintendent’s contract by adjusting his health insurance contribution from 20% to 15%.

Both votes were 4-2 with Kathleen Allen and Sam Tripp casting the nay votes.

Crist announced earlier this year that he is stepping down at the end of this school year.

BOCES District Superintendent Chris Todd is leading the search for the new superintendent.

He is asking the community to become involved by completing a survey that  is available on line at or by linking to

The search process is under way as the deadline for submitting applications for the position is March 15. Four people have already reportedly sought the position.

Following the deadline, Todd will provide the Board of Education with the list of candidates.

Committees consisting of various school and community groups will have the opportunity to be involved in the process.

All bargaining units, as well as representation from Central Office, parents and community members will be involved in assisting in the search to find a new educational leader for the district.

The desire of the Board of Education is to place a suitable candidate in the superintendent of school position by July 1.

“Their timeline is such that they will very likely have a new superintendent in place by July 1,” Crist said.

If not, he would be willing to stay on in an as needed role, he added.

Of his salary adjustment, he noted, “It’s something we’ve talked about for a while. (Tonight’s vote) finally put it in place. It’s really just a piece of old business.”

“We had gone the school year without adjusting his salary. He was making the same as he was last year,” Board President John Dunsmoor said of the salary adjustment. “He had taken the same freeze that everyone else had taken in prior years.”

“I’m just thinking of the timeframe. We’re putting together a budget. When you’re putting together a budget and you know you’ve got a $4 million or $5 million gap, I don’t think it’s the time to give raises, even if it’s a couple thousand dollars,” Tripp said. “It all adds up. I just don’t think the time is right.”

As for his future, Crist said he “has a few irons in the fire” but nothing firm as yet.


  1. Best of luck to Mr. Crist. Although a very nice and well-meaning man, he was never the academic leader our district needed and desperately needs for the future. Mrs. Bonnie Finnerty, the middle school principal who left 2 years ago for a superintendent job elsewhere, would be a perfect replacement for Mr. Crist. She was a dynamic, educated outside of Oswego, well-liked academic leader with a proven track record. Example of what DOESN’T work are the current KPS and middle school principals. They are ineffective administrators who continue the failing Oswego status-quo ways of educating, or should I say lack of educating our youth. Whoever hired their “type” should not be part of the process for hiring the new super….obvious bad judgement. For Oswego to get out of its depressing hole, the board needs to look outside of Oswego for a PROVEN leader. My vote would be for Bonnie Finnerty, if she wanted to come back.

  2. The article only says “The rate is now $147, 737.” Was his salary lowered or raised? What does his adjusted health insurance contribution translate into out-of-his-pocket dollars?
    Also kinda agree with the above comment. Those current principals mentioned are not good. They both have very poor work ethics. Extremely arrogant, only care about their own children and their friends children. They deserve each other, but our students don’t deserve them. The ridiculous umbrella of Tenure be damned, time to get rid of them both!

  3. Couldn’t agree more with the first writer re: Bonnie Finnerty. She was too good to keep. The current Middle School Principal is just indicative of the OLD boys’ club in the Oswego School District. She lacks the personality and warmth for the position, but even more important, any conviction for what she says she stands for. I would love to see Bill Crist stay on, but more importantly, see the Middle School Principal on a Principal Improvement Plan, similar to what the Teachers will be held accountable for.

  4. Principals don’t have tenure; they have contracts, just like any other high demand, stress-inducing, stakes are high position for any large company. Superintendents don’t have tenure either.

  5. Mr. Crist is the nicest man in the world, but they need someone stronger to deal with principals like those mentioned above plus overseeing the most important job of maintaining an ever-burgeoning budget in a depressed and declining district. There are now less than 4,325 students in the district and a $74,000,000+ budget (yes, that is $74 million buckeroos.) Does that not sound absolutely absurd, especially considering the district has poor scores across the board in test scores, grad rate, drop out rate, etc? AND PLEASE don’t get me started about the middle school and KPS principals. Both are rude, condescending, and self-serving. How are the kids suppose to respect them? And they wonder why there are so many discipline problems. Wake up school board.

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