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Administrators' contracts OK'd
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The Ceres School Board unanimously approved three-year employment contracts with Ceres Unified Supt. Scott Siegel, Deputy Supt. of Educational Services Mary Jones and Assistant Supt. of Personnel Services Denise Wickham last Thursday.

Siegel's base salary for the 2012-13 school year will be $193,320.

Jones will earn $154,656 annually.

Wickham will be compensated in an amount equal to 76 percent of Siegel's salary. She'll make $146,932.

"We would hate to lose any of them," Ceres School Board President Jim Kinard said. "All three have done a wonderful job. They've been vital to the direction of the district. We've benefitted from their quality expertise."

Siegel replaced Walt Hanline following the 2009-10 school year.

He worked alongside Hanline for two years as deputy superintendent before being promoted.

Scott was named ACSA's Region 7 Business Services Administrator of the Year in 2009.

"It's challenging and rewarding," Siegel said while talking about his current leadership role with the district.

Scott was hired by CUSD in 1989. He served as a math and science teacher, assistant principal and principal at Ceres High School. In 2002, the district tapped Siegel to become assistant superintendent of Business Services.

"It's a great place to work," Siegel said. "I have great staff here and I got a board that is outstanding. It's like being on a winning team. It's enjoyable."

Jones has worked for Ceres Unified for 17 years.

She's been deputy superintendent since 2010-11.

Mary was assistant superintendent of Educational Services from 2002-10.

She also filled leadership roles at Ceres High (interim principal, 2002), Caswell Elementary (principal, 1997-2002) and Mae Hensley Jr. High (assistant principal, 1993-95).

Jones was named ACSA's 2008 Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year.

Wickham has been employed by CUSD for seven years.

She's filled her current position for four years.

She was the district's supervisor of projects and assessment for one year and director of curriculum and instruction for two years.

Denise served as principal of California Avenue Elementary School in Riverbank for six years. She taught in Manteca for eight years.

Wickham was named ACSA's Region 7 Central Office Administrator of the Year in 2011.

Denise was a finalist for Modesto City Schools Superintendent last March. She finished second during the interview process.

"Things happen for a reason," she said. "I'm just blessed I was able to stay in Ceres. I wouldn't want to be in another place. I feel welcomed and supported here."

Siegel, Jones and Wickham all earned Doctor in Education degrees.

When asked about the State-budget deficit and its impact on Ceres Unified, Siegel said: "We're in very challenging times fiscally. I look forward to the day when we can work on expanding things and doing more to help students."

Added Wickham: "Our school board is solid in its focus. Every decision we make is for the kids."