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Hyatt signs $150K a year GMCS contract

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GMCS superintendent is highest paid public official in McKinley County

Mike Hyatt is the newly installed superintendent at Gallup-McKinley County Schools and the two-year contract inked by Hyatt pays an annual salary of $150,000.

The two-page document was signed Feb. 21 and given to the Gallup Sun as per a New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act request. The signing took place on the same date as the most recent regular board meeting.

Hyatt is the fourth superintendent to serve Gallup schools in the past eight years. The contract, which begins July 1, 2017, makes Hyatt the highest paid public official in McKinley County.

“This is consistent with what superintendent’s around New Mexico make,” Mitchell said. “It’s really not a high amount when you look at the size and responsibilities of our district.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Hyatt receives a $150,000 annual salary, which includes benefits such as health, vision and dental insurance. There is a $7,800 stipend for the use of a cellular telephone and a vehicle.

“I’m pleased with the contract,” Hyatt said. “It is a very workable document.”

Prior to taking on the superintendent job at Gallup-McKinley County Schools, Hyatt earned an annual salary of $88,000 as an assistant superintendent at GMCS. Former Gallup superintendent Frank Chiapetti, who was let go by the district about two months ago, commanded an annual salary of $132,000. The rationale behind Chiapetti’s dismissal has yet to be made public. Chiapetti is superintendent until June 30, 2017, Mitchell said.

Hyatt’s contract is up for renewal June 30, 2019. “The board will perform an annual evaluation of the superintendent and consider an extension of (this) contract on an annual basis no later than its February meeting each year,” the contract reads.

The Gallup-McKinley Schools superintendent job was not advertised and there were no resumés received for the job, school officials have said. Manuelito was the sole negotiator with Hyatt on the new contract.

There are 35 elementary, middle and high schools in the Gallup school district and there are three new members to the Board of Education: They are Charles Long, Christopher Mortensen and Michael Schaaf. The three begin board duties next week.

The highest annual salaries at the city of Gallup range from around $100,000 to $125,000 and include everybody from the police chief, city manager, to the city attorney. The same amounts and job titles account or county salaries.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent