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New BCS superintendent given $125K contract

The Brewton City School board approved a four-year, $125,000 annual contract for new superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner Monday.
In the special called meeting, board unanimously approved the measure, which also granted Varner reimbursement for up to $10,000 in moving expenses and paid health, vision and dental insurance coverage for him and his family.
The contract also allows for a 3 percent per year increase in salary after the fourth year and states Varner must reside in Brewton within 60 days of the July 1 start of the contract.
“Dr. Varner has already been working so hard and has been in Brewton several times already,” board chairwoman Stephanie Walker said. “It’s going to be hard to sell his house in Tallassee, and we know how hard it is to find rental property here in Brewton. His plan is to refinance his house and buy something here.
“I want us all to remember that he’s making a commitment to us, and we need to make a commitment to him,” she said. “This is a competitive market, and we feel he will work hard on our behalf.”
Board members agreed that a four-year contract term was ideal.
“In two years, you really can’t get anything done,” Walker said. “We know (Varner) plans to pick up where (current superintendent Lynn Smith) leaves off, but it takes time to get the lay of the land, so to speak.”
Since being chosen for the position last week, Varner has “hit the ground running,” all agreed. To date, he’s done an informal survey of teachers and staff, looking for ways to improve inside the system. To read about his recent visits, see Page 4A.
On July 1, Varner will replace Smith, who will retire after 36 years with the system – 24 of which as superintendent. A retirement reception for Smith and other system staff will be held on Sun., May 17, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the central office.