The deal is for two years and does not include a pay increase. Thompson's contract will now expire on June 30th of 2009.
The two "no" votes came from board member Jay Nellis and Mike Williams. The discussion began with Jay Nellis wanting to table the vote. That idea failed, so he tried again to only extend Thompson's contract for one year. That too failed.
Bob Trojan with Rockford Linear Actuation and Gary Peters with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce both praised Thompson for his support to improve the manufacturing industry. School Board President Nancy Kalchbrenner says extending his contract means the district has stability. Alice Saudargas wanted to offer Thompson a three year deal instead of two.
School Board Vice President Jay Nellis stated that the vote was premature seeing as Thompson's second performance evaluation hasn't happened.
Nellis says, “I think an extension should be preceded by his performance review and determination and assessment of the board to decide if he's meeting all of his goals.”
Kalchbrenner went on to say, “I think as board members we would certainly expect the Superintendent to be performing more than just his goals. The evaluation will get done it's a critical part of us doing our jobs."
Thompson's contract was not up for another year so this deal locks him in for a total of three years. About 28,000 students attend the Rockford Public School District.