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East Chicago school superintendent Paige McNulty

Paige McNulty

EAST CHICAGO — The East Chicago School Board voted to remove an evergreen clause from the superintendent's contract which would have given her an automatic three-year renewal.

School Board members say East Chicago schools superintendent Paige McNulty had to be notified of the modification of her contract before Dec. 31.

School Board member Jesse Gomez said the vote at the meeting Monday night was 3 to 2, with he and school board member Joel Rodriguez voting against the measure. The board members who voted in favor of eliminating the clause were School Board President Stacy Winfield, School Board Vice President Vanessa Hernandez-Orange and board secretary Dwayne Rancifer Jr.

The evergreen clause called for McNulty's contract to automatically renew for three years if the board takes no action by the end of the year.

Gomez said there was no discussion about removing her from her position, only discussion about the clause which modified her contract.

"The district is financially stable," he said. "We moved up a grade to a C under her tenure. We've received two large grants under her tenure, and because she fought so hard for it, we received the hold harmless she requested from the state (following the lead problems in the West Calumet community)."

Gomez said McNulty has two and a half years remaining on her contract with it expiring June 30, 2020.

Winfield could not be reached for comment.

McNulty said she has had no conversations with the board wanting to remove her as superintendent.

"Revising a contract is not uncommon," she said. "We've been able to raise our school grade for the first time since 2009, and the district will receive a couple of very prestigious grants."

McNulty, who had been assistant superintendent for a year, replaced former superintendent Youssef  "Dr. Joe" Yomtoob who retired July 31, 2016.

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.