Rockford Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler.
ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) - The Rockford Board of Education says school superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler is worth every penny he's paid, and they want him to stay for at least five more years.
"We have a stellar leader well known across our state and we are so proud of that," said board president Carol Hillman at Monday night's meeting. "We are very, very fortunate."
Shibler is 66 years old, and is in his 24th year at Rockford.
The board voted Monday to extend his contract until 2019.
"It's my privilege to live and work in this community," says Dr. Shibler. "Retirement is for the birds. I want to feel like I'm contributing. As long as I'm healthy I'll continue to try to make a difference."
The vote to extend Dr. Shibler's contract came after his annual evaluation.
"I've watched your leadership in the state," said board member Miles Postema. "You are the superintendent others are measured against."
And if some citizens question his $290,000 a year in total compensation, board members say they would pay him more, but Dr. Shibler won't accept a raise.
"He has not had a raise in four years," says Hillman. "We always offer it to him and he refuses it."
"I've taken a freeze the past four years because of the economic conditions," explains Dr. Shibler. "I can't justify taking an increase when we have to make cuts."
Dr. Shibler says he will continue to serve as long as he has the "fire in my belly".
"It's been a real blessing for me and my family to be a part of the Rockford community for 24 years," he told the board. "I'm the lucky guy in this whole thing."