Highlands makes superintendent’s job permanent
The Highlands School District will have a full-time, permanent superintendent as of April 1.
The school board Monday unanimously approved a five-year contract for Monique Mawhinney that will pay her $150,000 in the first year. She will be eligible for 3 percent raises each year, based on her performance review.
Mawhinney is replacing former Superintendent Michael Bjalobok, who has been on medical leave since July 2 and is retiring April 1.
Mawhinney started as assistant superintendent at Highlands in April 2018, and has been substitute superintendent since Bjalobok went on leave.
For serving as substitute superintendent, Mawhinney was being paid a $1,500 monthly stipend on top of her $130,000 salary.
In February, school board President Debbie Beale announced the board would be offering the job to Mawhinney and that the district would not be conducting a search for a superintendent.
Beale praised the work Mawhinney has done at Highlands to-date.
“This is a district that needs someone of her caliber,” she said. “She’s going to help us. I know she is. We’re going to get this right.”
Mawhinney came to Highlands from the Hampton Township School District, where she had been director of pupil services since 2001.
Several residents questioned the school board about why past superintendent performance evaluations are not available on the district’s website, as required by the state’s school code. Residents who have formally asked for them have been told the documents do not exist, although board members said such evaluations had been done.
Mawhinney promised the public that her evaluations will be available on the district’s website.
“As long as I am in this seat, you will have information,” she said. “I am here to do what’s right for kids. I am not going to waiver on that.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .