Lansing School Board approves contract extension for superintendent

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Peter Spadafore to the left, Yvonne Caamal Canul center.

Peter Spadafore to the left, Yvonne Caamal Canul center.

LANSING — The School Board unanimously voted to extend current Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul’s contract through 2018 at its Oct. 16 meeting.

Board Secretary Veronica Wood refused to release details of the contract and insisted that a Freedom of Information Act request be filed. However, the district issued a press release on Oct. 16 saying that Canul would not receive an increase in pay from her current $180,000 annual salary.

Board President Peter Spadafore said before the vote that the contract extension would give the board a “solid number of years to focus on a consistent vision and leadership.” Then, speaking for himself, he said that he was pleased being able to extend the contract.

Board member Amy Hodgin voted yes but then asked why the contract was being extended now, when the current contract runs through 2015.

“We determined after the start of the school year that it was important to the district to demonstrate that there was consistency in the leadership and that the board was supportive of that consistency to go ahead and extend the contract,” Spadafore said in response to Hodgin’s question.

Canul’s executive assistant, Janelle Jenkins, said the superintendent was too busy to respond to questions about her goals through 2018.

Spadafore said Canul was providing good leadership for the district.

“(Canul’s) got some very good ideas; she’s working on a cohesive district strategy so that education around Lansing makes sense,” Spadafore said. “So that everyone across the district has the same educational experience, the same good educational experience.

“We’ve also seen for the first time since 2001, enrollment has stabilized in the district.”

Taxi driver and Lansing resident Chris Gathof said he supports the decision to extend Canul’s contract if she can perform the required duties. Gathof provided a few things he would like to see changed throughout the district.

“I would like to see far less school violence in schools and a very big crackdown on bullying,” Gathof said.

“As a cab driver, I sometimes drive children to school. The amount of books that these children carry has to somehow create medical problems for some,” Gathof said. “I would like to see a way that those books can be digitized into a format that a actual hardback is no longer required.”

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