Former Summit School District superintendent’s severance package totals $100,000 |

Former Summit School District superintendent’s severance package totals $100,000

Former Summit School District Superintendent Marion Smith Jr. stands outside the school district administration building July 22, 2020, in Frisco. Smith received $100,000 from the district in his mutual separation agreement and release.
Photo by Libby Stanford / Summit Daily archives

The Summit School District paid former superintendent Marion Smith Jr. $100,000 in severance to cover salary for his remaining contract, unused leave, claims of damages and attorney fees.

The severance package will be paid out in three installments, the first of which includes his salary for the remaining month of his contract and unused leave for a total of $25,613. Smith’s annual salary was $179,000, amounting to $14,916 for the month of June. His unused leave totaled $10,696.80.

The second payment of $50,000 is a settlement of claims of noneconomic damages for “emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses,” according to a copy of Smith’s mutual separation agreement and release obtained by the Summit Daily.

The third payment of $24,387 is made out to Killmer, Lane & Newman to cover Smith’s legal fees.

District spokesperson Mikki Grebetz said the agreement was a product of negotiations between the district’s legal counsel and Smith’s attorney.

The agreement said neither party involved admits to any liability or wrongdoing and that Smith has permanently severed employment relations with the district. It also said that while the agreement is public record, Smith agreed not to discuss the terms of the agreement with anyone other than his legal counsel or immediate family.

Summit Daily reporters and editors attempted to reach Smith by phone Monday but discovered their numbers had been blocked.

A seven-point release section of the document said Smith was given 21 days to consider the terms of the agreement, which he signed May 28, his last day with the district. The document said that he releases the district, its board, directors, administrators, agents and employees from all past and present legal claims and that he will not file a claim, charge or lawsuit against the district concerning his employment.

The document also said the agreement should be construed in the “broadest possible manner” and that all disputes between Smith and the district are “forever resolved” with few exceptions, releasing any and all claims past, present or future, meaning Smith cannot take action against the district for any future claims or damages.

“The Board of Education thanks Dr. Smith for his contributions to the students and district throughout this last year,” school board President Kate Hudnut said in a statement from the district. “We wish Dr. Smith well in his future endeavors.”

The district did not provide any additional information on why the settlement was paid or answer questions about the nondisclosure agreement with Smith.

The separation agreement is the culmination of months of disagreement among school board members about whether Smith’s contract should have been renewed.

On April 15, the board voted 3-3 on whether to enter negotiations to renew Smith’s contract. Less than two weeks later, board member Gloria Quintero voted with the majority in a 4-2 decision to hire a search firm to find an interim superintendent for the 2021-22 school year.

At its meeting May 24, the board identified three finalists from 21 applications for the interim superintendent job. Interviews with the finalists will take place at a special board meeting Monday, June 14, with a public meet and greet with the selected candidate June 22. The interim superintendent will begin work July 1.

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