Vicksburg extends school superintendent contract

Keevin O’Neill.

By Jef Rietsma

The contract of Vicksburg Community Schools Superintendent Keevin O’Neill has been extended through the 2025-26 academic year.

Board of Education members approved the matter during their monthly meeting March 13.

Board President Skip Knowles said O’Neill has been on a three-year contract since becoming superintendent in 2018. Consequently, the board has extended his contract annually to keep it on a three-year cycle.

He elaborated on the formality.

“It’s a normal thing that we do, specifically in March because there’s a state law that we have to extend the superintendent’s contract or the superintendent has to be given a 90-day notice that their contract is not going to be extended,” Knowles said. “It’s called a rolling contract and most of the superintendents in the county are on that type of a contract … it isn’t that it runs down, three, two, one, then you do it for another three. You can do that if you’re having trouble with a superintendent, of course.”

He noted the board will conduct an evaluation of O’Neill by the end of June. Knowles said he doesn’t anticipate the evaluation will yield any problems, stating that O’Neill’s evaluation last year was “exemplary.”

O’Neill’s 2023-24 salary will be established when the school’s next fiscal year begins July 1. Knowles said a salary comparison is being put together as a matter of ensuring O’Neill is in a reasonable place on that list.

“The study will show where Keevin is salary-wise amongst the districts in the county, and moreover the districts in our area that are our size … schools like Mattawan, Otsego, Plainwell and all that,” Knowles said. “I don’t want to have Keevin at the top of that list, necessarily, even though I think he’s worth it. I think the middle of the pack or a little above the middle of the pack is a good spot.

O’Neill, 52, said he is fortunate to be in charge of a district with such strong administrators, teachers and staff.

“I truly enjoy leading VCS, and my commitment and passion for the district could not be stronger,” the 22-year district employee said. “I am blessed to work with so many talented people and I am grateful for the supportive Vicksburg community. Seeing our students succeed is so rewarding.”

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