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New superintendent of Pinellas County Schools to start Wednesday

Mike Grego, new superintendent of the Pinellas County School District, is expected to take the helm Wednesday, following formal approval of his contract by the school board.

Grego, 55, will earn $240,000 a year, with a $750 monthly car allowance. His term will last three years, ending in June 2015.

Superintendent John Stewart, who has served as an interim for a year, will step down Tuesday. Grego, who was selected by the board in late August, already has been meeting with district staffers and community members. This week, he attended the board's workshop and a meeting at the Pinellas Education Foundation.

Terry Boehm, president of the foundation, called Grego a "good fit" for the community.

"He's first and foremost an educator, we all get that, but he's going to have a business approach to decision making," he said. "He's a numbers guy."

Grego signed the contract Thursday. Board members will give final approval Tuesday.

Grego has more than 30 years of experience in education, including 28 years in the Hillsborough County School District, where he advanced from teacher to assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He was superintendent of Osceola County Schools for three years and served as Florida's interim chancellor of public education before becoming an associate professor at the University of Central Florida.

He has said he will move to Pinellas immediately. His wife, a teacher in Osceola, will stay there for a year while their daughter completes high school. Their son is in college.

In addition to his salary and car allowance, Grego will get moving expenses and $4,000 to pay for commuting and temporary lodging. The board also will contribute to his retirement, an annual amount worth 10 percent of his base salary or $24,000 a year.

He will get 20 weeks of severance pay if the board terminates his contract without cause.

Grego is getting a more generous compensation package than former superintendent Julie Janssen enjoyed. Janssen was paid about $200,000 a year, with $1,150 a month for a car and communication allowance. For her retirement, the board contributed a sum worth 6.5 percent of her base salary. She was fired by the board in August 2011.

Cara Fitzpatrick can be reached at cfitzpatrick@tampabay.com, (727) 893-8846 or on Twitter @Fitz_ly.

New superintendent of Pinellas County Schools to start Wednesday 09/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:57pm]
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