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Deer Valley school district OKs new school-chief contract

The Deer Valley Unified School District board on Tuesday approved a three-year employment contract for its new superintendent, James Veitenheimer, 53, whose first day on the job is July 1. Veitenheimer, who has been superintendent of the Keller Independent School District in Texas since 2004, is the permanent replacement for eight-year district leader Virginia McElyea, who resigned in January 2011.


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Here is a breakdown of Veitenheimer's contract, which was obtained by The Republic.

Salary & performance pay


Veitenheimer will earn an annual base salary of $170,750 and will be eligible to collect up to $34,150 more in performance pay -- totaling $204,900. A new state law went into effect this school year that requires 20 percent of a superintendent's annual wages be determined based on performance in achieving goals. The school board will set Veitenheimer's goals within the next 60 days.

Although Veitenheimer's current base salary in Texas is $225,000, none of which is conditional on performance, he won't necessarily be taking a pay cut in Arizona. Veitenheimer is eligible to retire in Texas and draw a $150,000 annual pension, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He told The Republic this week that he still hasn't decided whether he will retire.

McElyea earned $182,150 from the district, which was on top of her $112,355 pension from the Arizona State Retirement System.

Allowances & benefits

Veitenheimer won't receive a car allowance. He will be reimbursed up to $10,000 annually for out-of-town travel, professional development and "other expenses."

That compares to his current annual allowances of $7,500 for automobile and $1,800 for cellphone in Texas, according to his Keller district contract.

Travel & moving expenses

The district will pay Veitenheimer $6,560 for "consulting days" plus cover his hotel and travel costs incurred through July 1. He will also receive up to $20,000 in moving costs and a $6,000 housing allowance for his first three months in Arizona.

Other compensation

The new school chief has 41 days of paid sick leave, personal leave and vacation each year. Up to 15 days of unused leave may be carried over from year to year. Annually, the district will pay him $656 for each unused day of leave.

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