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Park City school board plans to extend superintendent’s contract, president says

Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea.
Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea.

Despite a federal harassment investigation, the president of the Park City Board of Education said the district’s superintendent is likely getting an extension.

Park City School District Board president Andrew Caplan said on KPCW’s Local News Hour Thursday the board will make a decision this year about the contracts for superintendent Jill Gildea and business administrator Randy Upton.

Gildea joined the district in 2018 after serving as superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut. Upton was hired in 2022.

“As a board, we think that Jill and Randy are both doing a great job, and fully intend on renewing their contracts, and hope that they stay as long as they’re long willing to be stewards of education in this community,” Caplan said.

According to 2023 data from Transparent Utah, the state auditor’s public employee salary database, Gildea earned almost $320,000 in wages last year and over $95,000 in benefits. That ranked her above any other superintendent in Utah, including officials in charge of school districts with tens of thousands of more students.

Transparent Utah records show Upton earned $140,000 last year, which is slightly above the average salary for school district business administrators statewide.

The Park City School District superintendent’s contract also includes a vehicle and a home in the area. Caplan said Gildea’s compensation package is justified.

“Her salary is at the top end,” Caplan said. “That’s in line with all our employees. There’s a couple factors in that. One is her experience. [Gildea has] been a superintendent for 20 years. One is her performance, which has been excellent. And one is the cost of living in Park City, and the reality that people have to be paid more to live here.”

During Gildea's tenure, the Federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) began investigating the district due to complaints about discriminatory behavior at schools. The federal agency found more than 180 reported incidents of student-to-student harassment from 2021 to 2023. The school district continues to be monitored by the OCR.

The Park City School District was also recently forced to spend roughly $2 million to remove contaminated soil near Treasure Mountain Junior High after state environmental regulators demanded it be moved.

At its meeting Tuesday the school board approved next year’s budget, which includes a tax increase and a 6% raise for teachers. Another 6% pay increase is budgeted for the following year.