The High Point Regional High School Board of Education on Sept. 21 extended the contract of Superintendent Scott Ripley, which keeps him in the district through June 30, 2026, and pays him up to $223,000 in his final year.
The board also canceled Ripley’s previous contract, which ends June 30, 2022, to make room for the new deal that will pay Ripley $162,500 for the 2021-22 school year, prorated from $195,000. The board said the sweeter deal is needed to ensure stability in uncertain times.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’m still here and will continue to be here,” Ripley said. “I want to say that our administrative team is likely more committed to the well-being and success of our community than any other around, and it is their success on which I stand on their shoulders.”
School board member Joseph Corazza said Ripley has guided the district through extensive state budget cuts and was “Eisenhower-like” through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a wise move on behalf of the board,” Corazza said. “I think, at this particular time, stability is the key to the continued success of the school, and I believe Dr. Ripley is the person to continue that stability.”
The school board’s vice president, Spencer Arnold, said he was among the skeptics who questioned opening Ripley’s contract before it expired. He agreed that it is important to keep Ripley at High Point, but said reopening the contract needed to be justified.
School board president Wayne Dunn said negotiations led to Ripley agreeing to a lower salary point in exchange for additional years, which will save the school district money in the end. Dunn also said the “cost of chaos” would have been significant, and that having Ripley signed for the next five years brings stability to the district instead.
“I can’t even comprehend 2026 right now,” Arnold said. “I think being able to look that far forward and to have someone that we know is a tested leader is important.”
The contract was approved by Sussex County Executive Superintendent Gayle Carrick on Aug. 31.
“I think this is the best thing for High Point,” Corazza said. “I was always told if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It’s not broke, and this contract makes sure it stays that way.”
“At this particular time, stability is the key to the continued success of the school, and I believe Dr. Ripley is the person to continue that stability.” Joseph Corazza