On Wednesday night, Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201 Superintendent Al Gegenheimer got what he had been wanting for some time - a contract to remain in the district for the next four years. Gegenheimer said he has been asking for a contract for more than a year, not because he was looking for a raise, but because he wanted job security. When the board asked Gegenheimer if he wanted a salary increase after waiving his increase two years in a row, he said he was looking, rather, for a contract.
"I said if you want to give me something, give me a five year deal, because I can retire in five years," he said. "I kinda waited a little over a year and a half, I waited and nothing seemed to be happening with that.
"When you're a superintendent, you're a free agent all of the time, unless you have a contract."
The contract at Minooka Community Consolidated School District comes on the tails of a request by Union School District adminstration for Gegenheimer to apply for the vacant superintendent position. The administration at Union had narrowed their search down and were ready to offer Gegenheimer a contract to return to Union. Gegenheimer began his carer at Channahon School District 17. He then was the principal and superintendent of Union School from January 2001 to June 2004. He left Union to serve at Troy Community Consolidated District 30-C. Then he moved to Minooka 201. That was five years ago.
In his time at the helm, Gegenheimer has seen many changes, most notably the construction or renovation of new schools.
"We built a bunch of schools on time and on budget," he said.
That included two schools at 130,00 square feet and 85,000 square feet and a 30,000 addition, not to mention the renovations at the primary center.
"We got all those schools done on time, in 13 months and not only that but we were under budget," he said. "We were under budget by about $5 million."
Gegenheimer and school board members agreed to a four-year contratct. Gegenheimer currently makes $136,269 salary.
Each year of his four year contract includes a six percent raise, which is the same as union teachers in the district made. Next year, with the 6 percent, Gegenheimer will make $144,445