NINETY SIX — In a show of support for Superintendent Rex Ward, trustees of Greenwood County School District 52 voted to amend his contract, giving him, among other things, a 2% raise.

“Overall his performance was very good and we’re very satisfied with it and, quite frankly, we hope that this year will be as good as it was last year,” trustee Houston Matthews said. “And maybe even better.”

In particular, Matthews said he was pleased with Ward’s placing district staff where they were best-positioned to help students, the benefits of which he thinks will become evident in the coming years.

Ward’s contract was also extended by a year, through 2021. Ward also requested, and was granted, a clause that would make it harder to fire him.

Ward, an at-will employee, said he asked for the clause for more job security. Termination of his contract will now require a vote from four of the board’s five members.

Trustees also approved a third and final reading of the 2019-20 school year budget. As in other districts statewide, the district’s teachers will receive a state-funded 4% raise. Support staff, meanwhile, were given additional compensation in another form.

“We (had) cut 5 days from their contract to save money. ... Instead of giving everyone a raise (this year), we’re trying to catch-up and give everybody back what we took away from them in the recession,” Ward said, adding that it was the equivalent of a 2.17% raise.

Ward accepted the resignation of assistant superintendent Steve Glenn, who was hired in May as the superintendent of neighboring District 50. District 52 will not immediately hire a replacement for Glenn, and will instead split his responsibilities among the district’s other administrators.

Jonne Campbell, director of federal programs, will also lead instruction in the district for the time-being, while Cathy Anderson, director of special projects, will be relieved of her oversight of transportation and will take control of human resources. The district will look to hire a director of transportation and will begin its search for a new assistant superintendent in January.

The district also recognized outgoing trustees Cobb and Rickey Werts for their years of service. Cobb did not seek reelection and Werts lost out to Bryan Green and Jeff Chapman in a five-way race in May. The new trustees will begin in July.

Contact staff writer Aleks Gilbert at 864-943-5644.