TRAVERSE CITY — Ann Cardon as the next Traverse City Area Public Schools superintendent has been all but official for weeks now.

After Monday's TCAPS board of education meeting, it finally is official.

Trustees unanimously approved a 3-year contract beginning Aug. 1 and running through June 30, 2022, for the current St. Joseph Public Schools superintendent. Board President Sue Kelly said Cardon has also agreed to the terms.

"Ann is going to be so good for the community, for Traverse City," Kelly said. "We wanted to make a really good offer to her because we have such a high opinion of her as a professional. Her years of experience and her whole career path has just impressed me right from the get-go."

Cardon will earn a $184,000 base salary in her first year along with $4,000 in moving expenses and a .25 percent tax-sheltered annuity. She can also earn a $2,000 bonus for an "effective" rating in her yearly evaluation and $3,000 for "highly effective" in each year.

The contract includes built-in raises to $187,000 in the second year and $190,000 in the third year, which puts Cardon slightly above average statewide for a district the size of TCAPS, according to the latest data on superintendent salaries from 2016. Cardon's annuity also increases to .5 percent in both the second and third year, and the contract comes with options to extend Cardon one year each year.

"When we talk about the lifespan of a superintendent being three or three-and-a-half years, as an employer it's our challenge to challenge them to take it to the next level," Kelly said. "The goal is to keep the superintendent under a three-year contract for long-term stability."

Cardon will receive 25 vacation days, 12 sick days, two personal days and 10 paid holiday days. Also built into the contract is a $6,200 yearly car allowance. Retirement pay, based on 10 years of service to TCAPS, is 30 percent of Cardon's base salary at that time.

Cardon has 24 years of experience in education, having worked at Muskegon Public Schools as a teacher, principal and content specialist before she moved on to Mona Shores Public Schools as the district's curriculum specialist. She has been the superintendent at St. Joseph for the last seven years.

Cardon is coming from a district less than half the enrollment of TCAPS with five schools — three elementary, a middle and a high school. She will be in charge of 17 buildings as superintendent of TCAPS with three high schools, two middle schools, 11 elementary schools, a virtual school and the district's administration center.

"I'm really excited about the fit," Kelly said. "She's so very important to the future of TCAPS."

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