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West Seneca interim superintendent could earn $195,000 a year

West Seneca Central School District will pay Interim Superintendent Whitney K. Vantine $750 a day, which works out to an annual salary of $195,000 a year.

The district released the contract for its new interim superintendent two days after School Board President Kate Newton refused to tell The Buffalo News how much Vantine would be paid. After the board appointed Vantine to the post Tuesday night, Newton first said the compensation was not public information, then said "it wouldn't be fair" to divulge it in public. She said the contract could be requested from the district clerk.

The News filed a Freedom of Information Law request for the contract.

Vantine will head the district starting May 1, while the School Board looks for a permanent superintendent. His pay is about the same pay as retiring Superintendent Mark Crawford, who is paid $194,105, according to his contract. Crawford is retiring April 28.

Vantine will be paid at a much higher rate than the new superintendent hired by the slightly larger Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District on Wednesday night. Stephen A. Bovino, who had served as the Ken-Ton interim superintendent for the past three months, was unanimously appointed to take on the role permanently by the Ken-Ton School Board. He will be paid $165,000 a year to head the third-largest district in the Buffalo area.

Bovino had been paid $600 a day as Ken-Ton's interim superintendent.

Scratch out interim; Bovino named Ken-Ton School District superintendent

The standard pay for an interim superintendent in Western New York is $650 to $700 a day, according to Robert W. Christmann, executive director of Western New York Educational Services Council. But he said an administrator's experience and past success as a superintendent can be a factor in determining compensation.

Vantine, 61, has served as a superintendent for 22 years at various districts, including the City of Tonawanda School District, retiring in 2012. Since then he has been a consultant for Wendel, and served as interim superintendent at Forestville.

A resident of Youngstown, he also will receive a monthly automobile stipend of $166.67, and $20 per month for the use of a mobile telephone. He will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, including mileage for official travel. He will not receive health insurance.

Vantine will not be paid for days he does not work, but he will be granted paid legal holidays consistent with other district administrators, and will have 12 days of leave to be used for illness, bereavement or personal business, according to the contract.

The contract runs through June 30, 2018, but it could be terminated by the School Board with 30 days written notice, or by Vantine with 60 days notice.

West Seneca hires former Tonawanda superintendent as interim

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