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Education

Cabarrus School Board Approves $458,000 Settlement For Retiring Superintendent Lowder

Chris Lowder screen shot.png
Former Cabarrus County Superintendent Chris Lowder talks about rising COVID-19 numbers at a school board meeting.

Updated March 12 to include a comment from school board Chair Holly Grimsley.

The Cabarrus County school board has approved a $458,000 settlement for Superintendent Chris Lowder, who is retiring at the end of this month.

On Feb. 24, Lowder and the board announced that he had "resigned for the purposes of retirement." He left the top job immediately but is staying as a consultant through March 31.

This week, the board agreed to pay Lowder $458,000 between now and January — some of it going into a retirement plan.

Neither Lowder nor the board has commented on the circumstances of his departure. In general, payouts come when a board wants the superintendent to leave before the end of a contract but does not have cause for firing.

Lowder had been superintendent since 2015. In June, Lowder got a 2% raise, bringing his annual pay to $226,000, and a one-year contract extension, to June 1, 2024.

But the November election brought new board members. And Lowder sometimes clashed with the new board over the best way to safely reopen schools.

On Friday board Chair Holly Grimsley said she can't discuss details of Lowder's departure. She said Lowder and the new board "were not going down the same pathways" and they agreed it was time for a change. Lowder's lawyer, John Gresham, said Lowder would not comment.

Deputy Superintendent Brian Schultz took over as acting superintendent.

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