- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - The Joplin school superintendent, who is retiring this month, will be paid through December 2016.

The Joplin Board of Education’s separation agreement with superintendent C.J. Huff was approved last week during a closed-door meeting. Details were released Monday after the Joplin Globe (https://bit.ly/1G2CXdW ) filed an open-records request.

Under the agreement, Huff will be paid his regular compensation of about $175,275 through December 2016. He also receives about $263,000 when he retires June 30, and another $50,000 to help a new superintendent through July 2016.

The agreement requires Huff and the district not to criticize each other, and bars Huff from suing the district. The Globe said Huff, who led the district through rebuilding after the May 2011 tornado, referred all questions to board President Jeff Koch, who called the agreement fair.

“I think he (Huff) could have just walked away, but I think he wants to stay and help the district, and by us having this agreement, it means we respect his knowledge,” said Koch, who included a complimentary recommendation letter on Huff’s behalf as part of the separation agreement.

Board member Jennifer Martucci said she voted against approving the agreement because she thought the amount of money to be paid to Huff was “excessive.”

“At that rate, I felt it would be in the district’s best interest financially to have him stay and do the job,” she said. “If we were going to pay him (that much), I would like him to stay and actually do the job.”

Huff’s contract was set to expire June 2018. Several other board members couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday.

The separation agreement also provides Huff with health insurance, retirement contributions, expenses incurred and benefits through his retirement date at the end of the month.


Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com



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