Karen Rue has led the fast-growing Northwest school district since July 2005, and it looks like she’s going to be around for quite a bit longer.
Northwest Trustees at their Jan. 29 meeting unanimously approved a contract extension for the long-time superintendent that commences July 1 of this year and runs through June 30, 2019. The extension, though, does not come with a pay increase – not yet. That will likely be approved in June when the 2015-16 school-year budget is approved.
District communications director Emily Conklin said the approval of Rue’s "contract extension does not include additional salary increases as of yet. That will be determined when the board discusses budget, staff salary increases, etc."
Rue’s current compensation of $259,708 a year, which took effect July 1, 2014, represents a three-percent pay increase over the previous school year. That’s the same percentage pay raise other district staff members and faculty members received.
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The school board had an easy time deciding to extend Rue’s contract to 2019, President Josh Wright said. "Extending the contract was a no-brainer," he said. "The success we have enjoyed under her leadership is a testament to the visionary leader she is."
Rue has received numerous award during her tenure at Northwest. Last fall, she was named the state’s Region 11 superintendent of the year. In 2012, Rue received the Bayard H. Friedman Hero Award honoring the most outstanding superintendent in the north Texas region.
She has managed the district during its most rapid period of growth. Northwest will open its third comprehensive high school in August and continues to expand academic programs tailored to students’ varying interests through its growing list of specialized academies that provide students a leg up on certain college degree paths or career options.
"You don't lead a school district for a decade unless you are doing things right," Wright said.