Reporting Laura Cole
VACAVILLE (CBS13) – The Vacaville Unified School District’s superintendent is retiring but will stay on the job and earn one-sixth of his current six-figure salary, and he says he’s happy to do it.
John Niederkorn might be retiring, but he’s going to be right back at the office next year working to solve the district’s budget problems, and he’s leading by example.
Not unlike so many others, the Vacaville school district is facing deep budget cuts.
“We’re looking at somewhere, a reduction of about $4 million,” he said.
That means doing away with more student programs, services and positions.
But this superintendent is doing something quite extraordinary to put a dent in the deficit.
He’s going to work next year – at a fraction of his salary.
“Frankly, it’s one way I can make a contribution and I’m happy to do it,” he said.
This year he made $177,000. Next year he’ll take a district salary of just $31,000, the maximum allowed for a retiree. That’s less than a starting teacher’s salary.
He’ll retire and use his pension from CalSTRS to live on all while working full time at the district office.
“It’s a personal thing,” he said. “I’m not doing it as a public statement.”
When CBS13 called Niederkorn, he didn’t want to do the story, not interested in the attention.
“I’m not doing it as an example,” he said. “It’s something that’s important to me.”
Instead, he’s only interested in making a quiet contribution.
“I think that’s fantastic,” one parent said.
“I think it’s a nice thing that he’s doing for us,” a student said.
When Niederkorn really retires he plans on moving to Southern California and spending his time playing with the grandkids and doing a little fishing.
Niederkorn has already served 38 years in California public schools. After next year, the district will start looking for his replacement.