Steve Richards had a year remaining on his current contract as superintendent of the Seymour R-II School District.
Last Thursday night, the local school board added another year to that deal.
A 7-0 vote by the Seymour R-II Board of Education extended Richards’ contract through the 2021-22 school year, giving him two school years beyond the current 2019-20 school year.
He’ll also receive a raise for the upcoming 2020-21 school year as his annual salary increases from the current $101,000 to $106,000.
No salary is in place for the 2021-22 school year.
Richards said Monday that he will sign the contract this week.
“I was very happy for the vote of confidence by the board to extend my contract as Seymour’s superintendent,” he said.
“Although I’ve only been on the job since last July, it’s been great to come home, so to speak, and lead the school district where I began my career.”
He added that he wants for Seymour to be his final career stop.
“My hope is that I’ll end my career here,” Richards said.
“I’ve still got several years until I retire, and this was where I had always hoped to end my career. Seymour is home to me. It’s a great community with a great school.”
Richards began his educational career in Seymour in 1995 when he was hired as a history teacher and head girls’ basketball coach. As a coach for the Tigers, he quickly rebuilt the program, earning his first Class 2 district title in 2000 and the school’s first trip to a “Final Four” two years later. While in Seymour, his varsity teams won more than 65 percent of their games.
He then became the principal at Liberty High School, which serves the Mountain View-Birch Tree School District, and held that position for seven years until becoming the high-school principal at Sparta for one year.
His next stop was Dora, where he served as that district’s superintendent for six years before accepting the Seymour job for the current school year.
He’s currently in his 25th year in public education.
With his salary increase, Richards no longer is the lowest-paid superintendent in the seven-member Summit Conference, despite Seymour having the league’s third-highest student enrollment.
For the current 2019-20 school year, Gainesville has the highest superintendent’s salary at $125,000 per year, followed by Fordland’s Chris Ford at $112,500. Other salaries for superintendents include Hartville at $106,300, Mansfield at $105,000, Norwood at $104,00 and Conway at $103,264.
All of the superintendents except Gainesville are on multiyear contracts.