What is in Kelly Withers’ superintendent contract?

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

SALISBURY — Kelly Withers does not have a start date as Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ superintendent yet, but her contract lays out all the details for her first term.

Here are the basics in the contract:

Compensation and benefits

Withers will be paid $185,000 each year in monthly installments.

She will receive 10 days of paid vacation for each school year in compensation for committing to “work many hours, including on nights and weekends, beyond the time needed to accomplish her duties.”

She will be paid $500 per month as compensation for business travel expenses in Rowan County. The board will also reimburse her for travel out-of-county at the same rate it compensates other employees. Withers can use a district vehicle to travel out-of-county as well.

She will receive the same benefits offered to other professional employees.

Withers can be paid as a part-time employee in preparation to assume the superintendent role.

The board will pay up to $1,000 annually for professional and civic memberships “as the superintendent feels are necessary to maintain and improve her professional skills, enhance her civic involvement, or advance the mission of the Board of Education.”

She will be provided with a cell phone, service and other technology to perform her job.


The contract term has a start date no later than Oct. 24 and stretches through June 30, 2026. The contract can be extended.

The board can terminate the contract with cause with a proper procedure including 10 days written notice of “charges” and a hearing. The board can unilaterally terminate the contract, but in that case it would be required to pay Withers 24 months worth of pay or the remaining time in the contract.

The board “by no later than the last regular meeting date” in the January before the contract expires will notify Withers of “its intents concerning renewal of her contract.”


Withers will be expected to maintain her state superintendent license.

She must live in Rowan County.

The contract specifies she is charged with administrating the schools at the direction of the board.

She is expected to participate in professional development programs and attend professional meetings with the approval of the board chair.

The board will prepare a written evaluation each year “based on goals established by the Board after consultation with the Superintendent.” That evaluation will occur by Oct. 15 each year and the board will have discretion on whether to increase superintendent salary after the evaluation.

Withers will have a number of powers typically granted to superintendents, including immediately accepting resignations, organizing the other employees in the district. The contract stipulates the superintendent must consult the board before transferring principals or cabinet members.

The contract also states the board will defend the superintendent in legal proceedings brought against her while “acting within the scope of her employment.”

Withers, with approval from the board chair, will be allowed to accept private consulting and speaking engagements and can serve on boards that “do not interfere” with her performance. The contract requires vacation or leave time be used for any private consulting during normal work hours.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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