Helena's school board unanimously approved the contract for incoming Superintendent Tyler Ream at a special meeting on Wednesday.
Ream, who currently serves as an assistant superintendent in Houston, will take over as superintendent of Helena Public Schools on July 1 with the contract expiring in 2021. The board conducted an extensive background check while working through negotiations.
Under the contract, Ream’s salary will be $163,000 a year, which is $8,000 more than outgoing Superintendent Jack Copps was paid. Ream’s compensation will be on par with other large districts in the state. Billings Public Schools pays Superintendent Terry Bouck $171,666 a year.
According to the contract, the district will reimburse Ream for up to $20,000 for “necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in moving and relocating the superintendent’s family and belongings from Houston, Texas.”
Some board members asked questions about how the travel allowance would be used. Ream, as well as former superintendents, are given the entire $550 per month travel stipend regardless of how much they travel. No one recommended any changes to the contract.
Board Chair Sarah Sullivan said Ream was easy to work with when negotiating the contract and said she believed he had the best interest of the district in mind.
Ream still has job responsibilities to wrap up in Texas, but will visit Helena for a week in May to work with Copps and start preparing to work on immediate issues facing the district. Sullivan said Ream and his family are eager to move to Helena and have started looking for a home to purchase.