City Schools of Decatur releases copy of contract for new superintendent

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 19, 2015
City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices. Photo by Dena Mellick

City Schools of Decatur Administrative Offices. Photo by Dena Mellick

The City Schools of Decatur has provided a copy of the contract for its new superintendent, David Dude.

The School Board approved the contract on Oct. 19. Dude replaces Superintendent Phyllis Edwards, who was head of the school system for 12 years.

According to the contract, Dude’s base annual salary will start at $179,000. The salary will increase to $189,000 in the 2017-2018 school year.


The terms of the agreement are effective Nov. 1. The contract expires on June 30, 2018, unless the school board chooses to renew it or decides to terminate it early. If the contract is renewed, Dude’s salary would increase to $199,000, according to the contract.

Edwards’ salary is $220,000 annually, and she was paid a prorated rate of $110,000 for the last six months of her contract.

In addition, the new superintendent is eligible for $10,000 in performance bonuses in the 2016-2017 school year, and eligible for $20,000 in performance bonuses in the 2017-2018 school year.

Edwards also received performance bonuses. During a meeting in July, School Board members approved a $20,000 bonus for Edwards for her service during the previous year, and she was eligible for another $10,000 in bonuses.

Under the contract, Dude will have a $1,500 monthly allowance for expenses related to his job as superintendent. He can use some or all of the allowance to pay for housing within the city of Decatur.

Here is the full contract provided to Decaturish:



About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Dec30030 Teacher


  • Weber Mom

    Good luck Decatur, from an Iowa City parent. A few tips for dealing with your new superintendent:
    (1) He takes great pride in his intelligence and his PhD. Be sure to call him DOCTOR Dude (pronounced Doodie). Be deferential and flattering, watch him purr and lap it up. He loves flattery and it will get you very, very far.

    (2) He does not value transparency and accountability. The idea behind transparency is that good actions and plans will bear up to scrutiny, and that transparency helps prevent (sometimes costly) mistakes. Dude is coming to you from a district with a rubber-stamp school board (which, coincidentally, was voted out right before he announced his departure), and an administration that often rejects community participation and input, and prefers to make decisions without the additional “nuisance” of public scrutiny. This is the environment in which his approach to administration was shaped. He has never been a building principal, as you’ll quickly realize.

    (3) Some administrators believe in following legal / administrative procedures, and others are happy to “skip all that nonsense”. He is of the latter type. This is especially problematic when it comes to due process, which is intended to protect people from false accusations or extreme, unfair consequences. If someone (teacher, staff, student) does something that is wrong (or that offends Dr. Dude), do not expect due process. He has been known to violate of privacy rights in order to intimidate, to ignore deadlines and transparency requirements to make information available to all parties, to make threats that he can’t actually carry out, claiming that they have legal basis (he assumes you won’t hire a lawyer and check), and to fill out documentation in a sloppy or perhaps deliberately false way. I hate to accuse someone of being a liar, but he often can’t keep his story straight…even in writing.
    Dude is extremely vindictive, and once someone does something he considers wrong, he seems to assume that they don’t deserve to be treated with respect and honesty. This is illegal and wrong. If you receive this treatment from him, your only recourse will be to lawyer up. The idea of “civil rights” is foreign to this man.
    Building principals, have your teachers’ backs! Parents, protect your children! And lawyers, get ready to cash in!

    (4) Finally, Decatur will need to have excellent auditing practices (budget, technology and building security, efficiency). Dude talks a good talk, but he is pretty sloppy, and you need detail people paying attention and coming along behind to clean up the mess he will leave.

    Thank you very much for taking him off our hands. We have been hoping this would happen for years. We still have a couple other administrators on the market if you’re interested! Hope you have the administrative structure in place to keep him in check, and I hope he works out and doesn’t hurt your kids.

    • Thisten

      Absolutely pathetic and disgusting behavior on your part Weber Mom. You have my pity.

      • Weber Mom

        Why is this disgusting? What I wrote reflects my actual experience and experiences that ICCSD employees and families have shared with me. David Dude is not liked here, and this is the consequence of his actions over the years. I wish I (and others) had known all this long ago, could have saved time, money and heartache. I took the time to write this out of compassion for the Decatur community, which deserves fair warning.

        • Thisten

          don’t know if you truly live in Iowa City (as you claim), or if you are
          trolling from within our community. I
          don’t care either way. Anyone who feels
          that it’s necessary to smear another person in the manner in which you’re
          trying to do here is, as I’ve said, pathetic.
          I’m quite capable of making up my own mind about the man, and I prefer
          to meet, get to know, and observe the actions of the new Superintendent before I
          begin to make up my own mind. I take no
          stock in what you’ve written. Now, I must depart, but I leave
          you with words of wisdom from Yoda and Boromir: Yoda: “Fear is the path to the
          dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Boromir: “You suffer, I see it day by
          day. Are you sure you do not suffer
          needlessly?” Are you sure Weber Mom?

          • Weber Mom

            I am most certainly from Iowa City.

            I could have written much harsher descriptions of David Dude’s previous conduct. He is not a nice person. I hope you never see the side of him that many ICCSD staff and families have experienced but felt I needed to offer a warning, just in case. Good luck.

            Again, transparency and accountability and regular auditing will go a long way to protect your community and your children. It’s easier to let that slip, but please don’t. If he’s a good guy and I’m a troll, it won’t hurt a thing, right? And if what I wrote is true, even only a little bit, this will only help protect your community and your schools.

            Repeating again: transparency and accountability and regular auditing. Pay attention. Ask questions. Take care of your teachers. Love your kids. Good luck.

          • Speaking of transparency: I would appreciate it if people who have concerns about Decatur’s new superintendent would write a formal, signed letter to the editor at I think the community would like to know what the specific concerns are, and a formal letter to the editor would be more meaningful than an anonymous comment on a story.

          • Super Doodie

            Signed letter to the editor? You’re kidding. A few of his cronies are still in place. Retaliation is the rule in the ICCSD. No one is going to put their own kids (or job) at risk to help Decatur, GA. You’ve had two weeks since his name was announced to pound the pavement and do your own research. Did you reach out to anyone in Iowa, or contact your counterpart at the local Iowa City paper?

          • Living In Decatur

            Dan – I assume you now are contacting your counter parts? If fir no other reason to out our minds at ease?

            As for being proud of the doctorate – many PHD people are and while I don’t subscribe to the “DR” title don’t feel upset by it. Slightly amused when they insist but aren’t we all egotistical about some-thing? Who cares really? Besides there are so many (and I mean LOTS) of PHD holders in Decatur that having a doctorate is a bit ho hum really.

          • For the record, yes, I have contacted my counterpart at the paper up there. She told me she found Dude to be polite and accessible. She also gave me the numbers of locals up there I could contact. So far, they have not returned my calls. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the claims of anonymous commenters. Retribution or no, if the issues he allegedly had were that bad, I think it would’ve been reflected in the coverage I saw. I did not see anything in the articles written about him to indicate that he has red flags. I also requested his personnel file, but I was denied because apparently they are exempt under Iowa open records law. I think the people who are taking pot-shots at him from behind a fake screen name are being disingenuous by claiming it’s in the interest of Decatur kids. It strikes me more as individuals with an axe to grind and their views may not be reflective of the community’s perception as a whole. I’ve seen nothing that leads me to believe there was widespread disagreement with or contempt of this person. The only thing I’m unimpressed with are the people who won’t put their real names behind their opinions.

          • Living in Decatur

            agreed. thanks for doing the due diligence.

          • Living in Decatur

            If you were so worried about our community why did you wait until the contract was signed to say any thing? Instead you sow the seed of doubt and worry into a tight knit community that is dealing with great change. What a nasty thing to do. What you say may well be correct or have some element of truth to it as you are obviously hurting but the way in which you have conducted yourself just depicts you as bitter and mean.

          • Super Doodie

            Someone did comment before the contract was signed, on this very site. Actually 2 someones but the first quickly removed his/her comment. The other is still there.

    • Super Doodie

      thanks for not speaking up earlier. 🙂

  • Super Doodie

    I’m from Iowa too, and I’ll share a detail that only IC locals know. What do the vanity plates on your new super’s oversized truck say? DJD PHD.
    yup, he’s awfully proud of that doctorate!

    Enjoy your new Superintendent Dude. I suggest that you call him … Super Doodie!

  • Walter Winn

    Sure hope he knows how to Negotiate better that our last superintendent. That in itself has the potential of saving the citizens of Decatur a lot of money.

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