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Pike Township interim leader Larry Young to become school superintendent

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After a tumultuous year at the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township, a long-time administrator and graduate of the district is set to become the new superintendent with a $257,000 salary and benefits package.

Larry Young was named by the school board as its only candidate to be the district’s next superintendent during a public meeting June 9. The board will vote June 23 on whether to approve Young’s contract. 

Young was named interim leader in January following the sudden departure of Superintendent Flora Reichanadter, who had been under fire for months from parents and teachers over disruptions to student learning and management of the district. Last fall, an online petition sought to remove Reichanadter as superintendent of the 11,000-student district.

A school board member had described the time as the toughest they’d faced. Many families questioned the district’s commitment to students and the community as classes were canceled due to transportation problems and teachers and bus drivers sought a pay increase.

School board President Terry A. Webster Sr. said after multiple private meetings with two outside search committees about the district’s “path forward,” Young was vetted as the likely pick. 

“We decided we had an in-house candidate that certainty fit the qualifications for our superintendent,” Webster said during the meeting at Lincoln Middle School.

Young graduated from Pike Township in 1992. His entire 24-year career in education is at the district. Most recently he was the assistant superintendent of operations. He’s also been a teacher, principal and held various district-level academic positions. In 2019, Young was a finalist to be the Indianapolis Public Schools superintendent.

“This is a dream job,” Young said after the meeting. “This is a community I was reared in. To be able to serve in this new role is just a dream come true — an honor.”

Young declined to discuss what he saw as the district’s challenges until after the superintendent contract is voted on later this month.

Parent Alexandra Hall described Young as dedicated to Pike Township schools and “conscientious and concerned” about the entire community. Last year, 61% of enrolled students were Black, and Hall believes Young’s new role will impact many students because he is also a Black educator.

“And to have a superintendent who looks like the students being served, that makes a world of difference,” Hall said.

The Pike Township Board proposed a contract for Young with a $257,377 salary and benefits package, not including the district’s administrative benefits plan. Contract details were posted on the district website in advance of the board meeting. Indiana law requires a school board hold a public meeting with public comment at least seven days before action is taken on a superintendent contract.

One person spoke in favor of the board’s selection of Young during the meeting.

The contract is for three years, starting July 1 through June 2025. The contract will automatically extend for an additional school year on July 1, 2023, and then again annually unless the board gives notice on or before January of each year. The contract cannot extend past June 2030, according to the document.

Annual compensation in the proposed contract includes:

  • $208,907 base salary
  • $10,000 performance-based bonus related to improvement of student academics
  • $9,600 automobile allowance
  • $1,200 cell phone allowance
  • $23,500 403(b) retirement contribution
  • $2611 401(a) retirement contribution
  • $522 VEBA retirement plan contribution
  • $518 life insurance premium
  • 20 paid vacation days

Young would be eligible for any pay increase provided to administrators if he is rated effective or highly effective on June 30, 2023, according to the document.

Last year, Reichanadter, the former Pike superintendent, signed a three-year contract with an annual base salary of $206,907. After Reichanadter and the district agreed to terminate the contract in January, she was paid a severance agreement of $223,229 in salary and benefits.

Contact WFYI education editor Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call 317-614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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