Kristopher Rivera

Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 Superintendent Kristopher Rivera is getting a raise and a one-year contract extension. The District 103 school board voted 5-0 on May 24 to extend Rivera’s contract through the 2023-24 school year and to give him a $6,000 raise, boosting his salary next year to $171,000.

“I’m very excited about it,” Rivera said after the meeting. “We’ve been looking for some consistency here in the district, and I think we’re in a good rhythm … and it’s an accountability that I feel is smart and a process that I do appreciate.”

Rivera will also get a boost in his transportation allowance bumping it from $6,000 to $9,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the school district’s early childhood education director, Beatriz Lappay, will not be returning for the 2022-23 academic year. The school board voted 5-0 to approve a voluntary separation agreement between the district and Lappay. The details of that agreement were not immediately released. The Landmark has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of the agreement.

Rivera declined to answer questions about the circumstances of Lappay’s departure, including whether she has been working in recent months. 

“I’m not going to comment on Ms. Lappay,” Rivera said.

Sources have told the Landmark that Lappay has been on administrative leave for a few months.

Samantha James, who is the special education and pre-kindergarten coordinator for the district, has been running the early childhood education program at least since April. At its April 26 meeting, the board of education awarded James a $3,000 stipend to for “additional duties related to early childhood education for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.”

Rivera said that it has not yet been decided who will lead the early childhood program next year.

“We are still discussing the final culmination of that position,” Rivera said. “What it’s going to look like moving going forward we are still in discussions on.”

Lappay, who has moved from district to district often during her career, was hired by District 103 in 2020 to be the assistant principal at Lincoln School. 

A few months later, Lappay was chosen to run the early childhood program after Kim West, who had been hired the previous summer to replace longtime early childhood director Chris Newell, moved over to run the student services department following a resignation.

In March 2021, longtime early childhood program secretary Glory Smith was fired after apparently raising questions about Lappay’s management of the early childhood program.

Administrator raises at Komarek, D96, D95

Other area school superintendents are also getting raises next year. At Komarek School District 94 in North Riverside, Superintendent Todd Fitzgerald, who is completing his second year as superintendent, got a new three-year contract and a 5-percent raise, boosting his salary next year to $164,530. 

In Riverside Elementary School District 96, the school board voted 5-0 to give Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye a 5-percent raise, increasing her salary to $214,676. 

District 96 Special Education Director Pam Shaw is getting a 4.5-percent raise in her final year before retirement, pushing her salary to $154,782 next year. All other administrators in District 96 are getting 3.33-percent raises. 

In a memo to the board of education, board member Wesley Muirheid, who chairs the board’s personnel committee, said Ryan-Toye deserved a raise beyond the standard 3.33-percent raise in recognition of the work she did to keep the district moving despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“We continued to grow and achieve our goals despite the pandemic due to the leadership Martha provided throughout the past two years,” Muirheid wrote.

In District 95 Superintendent Mark Kuzniewski is getting a 6-percent raise that is specified in his contract, which will boost his salary to $242,698 next year.

Riverside Brookfield High School District 208 Kevin Skinkis will be heading into the final year of his contract next year. He does not yet have a new contract, although that could change as soon as the next school board meeting on June 14.

District 208 school board President Deanna Zalas said the school board has been having discussions about a new contract or contract extension for Skinkis.