Aspen School District’s superintendent’s contract keeps him through June 2020 |

Aspen School District’s superintendent’s contract keeps him through June 2020

Dr. John Maloy

Aspen School District Superintendent John Maloy's employment contract will allow him to stay at the helm until June 30, 2020.

With little fanfare, the contract extension was blessed by members of the Aspen Board of Education in mid-October, less than three weeks before the board elections were held.

"We did an annual performance review that was incredibly detailed," said Sheila Wills, the board's vice president, in an interview earlier this month. "The board is very supportive of our superintendent."

Maloy, an educator whose career began in 1980 as a social studies teacher in Indiana, became superintendent of the Aspen schools in March 2010.

He originally signed a three-year rolling contract with the school district. The contract, which is reviewed and subject to renewal each year, allows him a one-year extension for each successful year on the job.

Maloy's starting base salary was $150,000; his latest contract calls for him drawing a $183,403 base salary, up from $176,689 the previous year.

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In 2016-17 — the period Maloy drew $176,689 — the state's highest paid superintendent, who oversees the 28,000-plus-student Boulder Valley School District No. RE 2, earned $261,654, according to the Colorado Department of Education. Aspen School District has an enrollment of fewer than 2,000.

Maloy, whose contract allows him to live in district-owned housing as long as he is superintendent, did not receive any salary raises from the time he signed the original contract until June 2014. The superintendent, in an interview last week, said that was due to the Great Recession, which resulted in pay freezes for administrators and staff.

As is typical of high-ranking, nonelected public officials during local campaign seasons, Maloy didn't publicly weigh in during the Board of Education election in the fall.

The two challengers for the three open seats on the board leveled tough criticism at the district, ranging from students' standardized test scores to teacher turnover and pay.

One of the challengers, Susan Zimet, won a place on the board while incumbents Susan Marolt and Dwayne Romero retained their seats.

"I think when you have an election it's important to verify what's being said, to be fair to all the parties, especially those in the district that are working hard in order to see that children are succeeding," Maloy said in an interview last week. "I believe some of the issues that were raised are some that we are already working on."

Teacher salaries continue to be an issue of concern for Maloy.

"Obviously we're not a revenue-generating business," he said. "We have limited resources in this business that is one of educating children. At the same time, we're trying to keep the lights on and wanting to have the best salaries that we can, so balancing all of the nuances and the costs are important to an educational environment."

Maloy said he hopes to unveil a new teacher-salary structure sometime in 2018, "which we believe will please our staff members."

Building and obtaining housing for teachers also is a priority of the school district, he said.

The superintendent said he is "someone who is very reflective and I take to heart what people say, especially if it is constructive criticism. If people believe there is a better way and more innovative ways to support our schools and help our children be more successful, believe me, I'm open to the conversation. If it turns into a personal attack, then there's no sense because it's not helpful for anyone."

Maloy said the past few years have seen a concerted effort "across the leadership team to make sure we're doing a better job of supporting and collaborating with our teachers in the building as well as the parents outside of the building."

No two work days are the same for Maloy, he said.

"I would love to invite someone to shadow me for a day or two," he said. "I think they would be surprised at the number of different types of responsibilities I have, ranging from calender programming, assets projection, transportation, food service," he said. "I have a passion for seeing that all kids are successful and supporting our staff. I just find it all interesting and motivating."