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New Smithtown schools chief getting raise

Anthony Annunziato talks about the school budget during

Anthony Annunziato talks about the school budget during a school board meeting at Bayport-Blue Point High School in Bayport. (March 22, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz

Smithtown school district's incoming superintendent will get a raise, and he will pay one-fifth of his health care premium when he starts the job.

Anthony Annunziato, due to take office on July 1, will earn $259,000 annually -- a 6.8 percent increase over the $242,550 he makes as superintendent of the Bayport-Blue Point district.

Annunziato has agreed to pay 20 percent of his health care, Smithtown school board president Gladys Waldron said. That will save the district about $4,000 per year, said assistant superintendent for personnel Karen Ricigliano. Current Superintendent Edward Ehmann, who is retiring in June, does not pay for his health care and earns $219,555 annually, Waldron said.

Waldron said Annunziato "fit our bill" because he is a former teacher who has led Bayport-Blue Point for seven years. The school board approved Annunziato's contract on April 10.

"We're paying for seven years' experience as a superintendent," Waldron said. She said Annunziato, as assistant superintendent for business in Roslyn, "helped blow the whistle" on a $11.2 million embezzlement scheme that sent Superintendent Frank Tassone to prison six years ago.

Annunziato did not return calls for comment. His Smithtown salary will rank him 31st among Long Island school superintendents. His current salary and Ehmann's place them 34th and 68th respectively among Island schools chiefs.

Smithtown also has completed a new contract with its administrators, including principals, assistant principals and department heads.

They have agreed to a three-year contract that will include a wage freeze in the 2012-13 school year. Most of the district's 36 administrators will not get a raise in the final year of the deal, but some will receive a 1.5 percent pay hike that will not count toward future raises, Ehmann said.

The administrators will receive a 1.75 percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1. They will pay 20 percent of their health care premiums by July 1, 2013, saving the district $17,000 annually; currently, they pay 16 percent of their premiums. The school board unanimously approved the pact Tuesday night.

"It's a very good deal," Waldron said. "It's basically what we needed right now" to contain costs.

The deal resembles a five-year contract struck this month with teachers, who agreed to reduced step increases and increased health care payments.

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