Geneva District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler to leave when contract expires in 2023

Superintendent’s letter states he will retire June 30, 2023 at end of his multi-year contract

Geneva School Board President Taylor Egan and Geneva Community Unit School District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler listen to public comments during a Geneva Community Unit School District 304 meeting at Geneva Middle School South on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.

GENEVA – Geneva District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler will be leaving the district at the end of his contract, effective June 30, 2023, according to a letter he sent to the school board dated Jan. 10.

“This is to let you know that I will be retiring as superintendent of Geneva Community Unit School District 304 at the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year as indicated in the retirement option of my contract,” Mutchler wrote in his Jan. 10 letter.

“I will soon be earning my National Superintendent Certification and will be pursuing other options in educational leadership,” Mutchler’s letter stated.

“The retirement of Kent Mutchler from Geneva CUSD 304 was approved in tonight’s personnel report,” Board President Taylor Egan said in an email late Jan. 10 after a closed session at the school board meeting.

“This is something the Board of Education had prepared for and we will be inviting executive search firms to publicly present at future meetings before selecting a firm to lead the process,” Egan’s email said. “We look forward to community input and incorporating stakeholder voices as we begin the search for our district’s next superintendent.”

Mutchler’s pending departure originally was listed as a resignation effective when his contract expires on June 30, 2023, according to the agenda for the Jan. 10 school board meeting.

“Kent Mutchler’s resignation is currently on the personnel report for tonight’s meeting and has not been voted on by the board. Therefore, there is no comment at this time,” Egan said in an email earlier in the afternoon.

The school board voted unanimously to accept the original personnel report, which included new hires, employees going on family leave and Mutchler’s resignation.

None of the board members said anything about Mutchler’s resignation at the time of voting, nor during their open comment period.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Adam Law contacted the Kane County Chronicle about 45 minutes after the board went into closed session to say that the agenda item stating Mutchler’s resignation “was a clerical error.”

“There are times we use the terms interchangeably, but we wanted to reflect the most accurate term,” Law said.

Officials change the agenda late Jan. 10 to have Mutchler listed as a retirement, not a resignation, the agenda shows.

Mutchler, who has been superintendent since 2006, and district spokeswoman Laura Sprague did not respond to requests for comment.

According to his contract, Mutchler is making $244,534 in salary, not counting additional benefits, this academic year. His salary increases to $251,870 for the 2022-23 academic year.

The board typically has extended Mutchler’s five-year contracts by adding an additional year on each one. The last time the board approved a five-year contract for him was Dec. 18, 2018, starting July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2023.

The board did not extend Mutchler’s multiyear contract by one year when it was updated in October 2019.

Sprague said in an email last year that “this contract is not written as a retirement contract.”

However, if Mutchler gives 30 days’ notice of retirement, the board “will provide the superintendent a retirement benefit equal to $1,000 per year for each year of creditable service to the school district to a maximum of $20,000,” to be paid in a lump sum, according to the contract.

As of June 30, 2023, Mutchler will have been superintendent for 17 years, qualifying him to receive a retirement benefit of $17,000, according to the contract.