Wholehearted Living Thursdays~September 22

For awhile, some Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Story

Fresno school official has a gift for giving

Superintendent Larry Powell is retiring for one day, then going back to work for much lower pay so he can give his original salary and benefits back to the school district.

It was supposed to be a quiet thing; no fanfare, no press releases 

Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell and his wife, Dot, a retired principal, had figured out a way to help imperiled programs in their struggling school district. 

He would retire for one day. Then come back to work at a pittance compared with his former salary — putting more than $800,000 of his salary and benefits back in the district’s coffers. 

But in tough economic times, when public trust has been repeatedly battered, word of an elected official giving back money quickly made its way from a Board of Education meeting to national headlines. Powell spent his “retirement” giving television and magazine interviews.

“We were trying to not create a big stir,” said Armen Bacon, spokeswoman for the Fresno County Office of Education. “But we’re living in a time of despair and people are so hungry for stories about the impact one person can make.”

Powell officially retired Wednesday. The district was contracted to pay him $235,000 plus benefits a year through 2014. He went back to work Friday, rehired at a salary of $31,020 with no benefits, to run 35 school districts with 195,000 students.

By Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0901-fresno-superintendent-20110904,0,4431218.story

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