Superintendent Tracey Lopeman. Photo by Michelle Chance

Tracey Lopeman is officially Maricopa Unified School District’s new superintendent.

The MUSD Governing Board unanimously approved a three-year contract Monday. Lopeman will receive $140,000 per year and begin contract work July 1.

The contract ends June 30, 2021.

Lopeman’s superintendent contract includes health insurance, car and cell phone allowances, a retirement plan, performance pay and vacation days.

Until July, Lopeman will work part-time as a superintendent consultant for MUSD while she finishes her duties as assistant superintendent of the Alhambra Elementary School District.

The board approved Monday afternoon up to a $20,000 payment for Lopeman’s 2.5 months of consultant work from now until July 1.

Board President AnnaMarie Knorr said the decision to hire Lopeman part-time until the fiscal year begins will allow the new superintendent to be involved in cabinet meetings and budget discussions.

“It’s not a set amount; it’s up to $20,000,” Knorr said regarding Lopeman’s consulting contract. “So, because of state procurement laws, typically when it could be up to a certain amount, we have to go up to bid, but in the case where it’s something like this – it’s a sole source because there is nobody else that we want.”

Knorr said consultant payment will be calculated by the hour. The Board had no estimate how many hours Lopeman will contribute or a ballpark total for what Lopeman will eventually receive.

Wednesday concludes the Board’s ambitious superintendent search timeline originally approved in December.

The effort was spearheaded by former President Patti Coutré before Knorr took the reins.

It’s considered the first major accomplishment for Knorr in her new leadership role.

“I’m excited for the future and bringing her on board. I’ve enjoyed every step of the process – it’s been extremely time consuming, but well worth it,” Knorr said.

Lopeman was present during the board’s announcement and said she is excited to work with “a great board and a great community.”

The new district figurehead’s initial impression of her new job reflects its slogan.

“Like the (MUSD) motto says, ‘a community dedicated to success,’” Lopeman said. “Every person that I’ve met has a purpose here and it’s clear.”

The board meets again for a regular meeting at the district administration building April 25 at 6:30 p.m.

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