When Lorena Gasca and Ryan VenHorst were elected to the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education last year with the support of the teachers’ union, some thought that their election could mark the beginning of the end for Kevin Skinkis’ tenure as the superintendent of District 208.
But that proved not to be case as Gasca, VenHorst and the rest of the District 208 school board voted unanimously on July 12 to give Skinkis a new four-year contract as superintendent.
“I think that shows that people have the confidence in him continuing the journey we’ve started,” said school board President Deanna Zalas of the unanimous vote.
Skinkis, 45, is starting his 12th year at the helm at RBHS. He came to the school as superintendent in 2011 when he was just 34 years old.
“I’m excited to continue my journey with the board of education and the district,” said Skinkis after signing his new contract. “It’s been a great opportunity and I look forward to working with the board going forward.”
Zalas said Skinkis has done an excellent job leading RBHS through the pandemic.
“In these times consistency is really important,” Zalas said. “You don’t change for the sake of change.”
Gasca and VenHorst said that in their time on the school board they have been impressed with Skinkis’ leadership. Gasca said Skinkis collaborates well with everyone on the school board and has been committed to dealing with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
VenHorst said that Skinkis’ experience was very important
“It is my view that Kevin is a good operator,” VenHorst said. “He has so much experience.”
Skinkis was just beginning the final year of his previous five-year contract when the board voted to give him a new deal that runs through June 30, 2026.
Skinkis will receive a 5-percent pay raise this year. His new salary for the 2022-23 fiscal year is $232,463. Skinkis will also be paid an annual retention stipend of $12,000 for each year he stays at RBHS. He will continue to be eligible for performance bonuses of as much as $19,000.
In the remaining years of his contract, Skinkis’ annual raises will tied to the consumer price index with a maximum possible annual raise of 5 percent and a minimum raise of 2 percent.
Skinkis’ performance goals are tied to metrics such as graduation rate, SAT scores, student engagement, student attendance and freshmen on track to graduate. Skinkis can receive a $4,000 annual bonus if he takes concrete steps to meet five rather vaguely worded goals the board recently adopted.
Gasca was critical of bonuses for administrators when she was campaigning for a school board seat in 2021. She said she continues to not be a fan of bonuses for administrators, but she noted that she is just one person on the school board. Gasca also said that RBHS must pay competitive salaries compared to other school districts.