Superintendent accepts no pay increase in 3-year contract


TPS Supt. Rick Hilderley agreed to 3-year contract.

Tecumseh Public Schools Superintendent Rick Hilderley has agreed to a proposed new three-year contract with no pay increase but with the addition of two paid holidays and 10 vacation days.

Board President Tony Rebottaro listed his recommendations at Monday night’s school board meeting for Hilderley’s contract renewal for a three-year term with no increase in salary over those three years. He recommended providing the superintendent with two additional paid holidays, Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day, as well as 10 additional vacation days to reach a total of 30 days, 10 of which must be used in the summer months. He also recommended a payout of unused sick days at the termination of his contract at one-half the current rate of substitute teacher pay. The contract was sent to the district’s legal counsel and Hilderley agreed to the changes.

In other board news, Rebottaro told the audience that board members had received 56 emails regarding the budget cut option of reducing music staff, and he noted that 26 people spoke at the last school board meeting to support the music program. Six people from the audience spoke to urge the board to avoid cutting music staff, citing the benefits of the music program both in middle school and in high school.

During discussion of Fiscal Year 2024 budget considerations, Hilderley said, “Currently we don’t have a budget crisis, but if we don’t address our facilities in the next one to five years, we’re going to have a budget crisis,” stating that considerations need to be more long-term. A balanced budget will have to be approved by the board by June 30, and there are some things that may be planned for next year that will need board approval. The Facilities Committee will decide the projects that are priorities and in what order they will be undertaken, depending on funding.

“Most projects that we are looking at are things that have been put off for a few years for several reasons, by more than one board and more than one superintendent,” said Hilderley. “It’s time for this board to try to figure out how we’re going to move forward.” Business Services Director Kelli Glenn agreed and said, “We can come up with a plan that the community and the teaching staff is willing to get behind.”

“It really all stems from what is happening with our buildings. Since the bond we’ve lost a boiler at the pool. The boilers from the middle school were scheduled for the summer of 2024,” said Rebottaro. “One of the two boilers has now failed, it’s not repairable.”

Discussion included the necessity of getting reports from the Building and Grounds Department and information on the operating costs of Herrick Park Intermediate Learning Center. Vice President Lynne Davis said that if the district opts for an energy bond, the board will have to consider how long it will take to get work started. The board tentatively planned a budget workshop meeting for Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m.

Director of Technology Deven Knight spoke about eRate, a federally sponsored funding source grant opportunity to upgrade technology, and said he hopes to buy 16 network switches and 100 access points to replace existing equipment. The 16 switches would be installed in the high school and the best switches in that building would then be moved to replace old switches in other buildings. “We have 18 network switches now that are at end of life. We don’t currently have hardware backups,” Knight said. The current lead time on getting the switches is from 6-18 months.

Knight said the least expensive bid was $155,000, and the district will be responsible for half of that amount while eRate will cover the rest. The chosen bidder was Sentinel, which provided the only complete bid for everything needed.

Rebottaro asked Knight about the need for Chromebooks, and Knight said the rate of damage has increased this year. While there are enough in stock to last through the end of the year, devices will need to be purchased for next year. iPads are being considered for the early learning centers because adequate Chrome tablets are difficult to find, according to Knight, but iPads cost $299 compared to $180-$270 for Chromebooks.

Hilderley reported that he signed the agreement for the sale of the administration building on Ottawa Street and there will be a closing date set in the next month or two.

Several students were recognized for placing in the top 100 in the Michigan Art Educators Association competition, including, from Patterson Intermediate Learning Center, Ya’Meira Parizon and Elijah Neal; from Herrick Park Intermediate Learning Center, Kira Bauschka and Joselyn Lange, who placed in the Top 18; from Tecumseh High School, Rylee Cox and Owen Sysco with ceramics and Izaac Morrison with photography. Rita Miller was the first winner for the district in the Scholastic Art Contest nationwide art competition.

The next meeting of the school board has been moved to Monday, March 20 at 7 p.m. due to spring break.


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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