New Cedar Rapids superintendent, Noreen Bush, gets $80,000 raise

Noreen Bush's contract takes effect July 1

Noreen Bush speaks with The Gazette after a May 3, 2019, Cedar Rapids school board meeting where she was named the distr
Noreen Bush speaks with The Gazette after a May 3, 2019, Cedar Rapids school board meeting where she was named the district’s interim superintendent. The board this week removed “interim” from her job title, hiring her as the first woman superintendent for the district. Her contact, effective July 1, sets her annual salary at $260,000. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The first woman hired as superintendent in the Cedar Rapids Community School District is likely to be one of the highest paid superintendents in the state.

The Cedar Rapids school board unanimously approved a three-year contract with Noreen Bush on Wednesday that includes an annual salary of $260,000.

Her predecessor, Brad Buck, was paid about $248,000 annually.

Buck now earns $260,000 in the Waukee Community School District and was the third-highest-paid superintendent in Iowa during the 2018-19 school year, according to the most recent state data.

Cedar Rapids is the state’s second largest school district, with a certified enrollment of 16,852 students this school year. Des Moines has a certified enrollment of 32,607.

Bush’s contract is nearly identical to the three-year contract Buck signed in 2018 in Cedar Rapids. Bush, however, is not required to submit an annual report to the board or to live within district boundaries.

Read Noreen Bush's contract

CedarRapidsSuperintendentContract FINAL 2020-2021 SIGNED by Gazetteonline on Scribd

Bush and her family live in southwest Cedar Rapids, in the College Community School District, where Bush worked until 2017.

Her new contract takes effect July 1. While serving in an interim capacity, Bush, 48, worked under her deputy superintendent contract, with an annual salary of about $177,000.


Her benefits include 33 days of paid time off, 16 sick days and a $250 monthly car allowance. Bush also can attend one national professional conference per year on the district’s dime, and the district will cover membership dues for the American Association of School Administrators and the School Administrators of Iowa.

The school board — foreseeing turnover in its makeup after the November election — voted in August to keep Bush in an interim role until 2021 to avoid a hasty search process.

But it became clear, board President Nancy Humbles said during Wednesday’s meeting, that Bush was the person for the job.

“We have all received unsolicited support from key community leaders, internal stakeholders and our families. It has become unquestionably clear to us that Noreen is precisely the right person to lead us down the path of ‘Every learner, future ready,’ ” Humbles said, invoking the district’s motto.

Bush raised her arms in excitement to laughs and applause as the meeting closed, then dabbed at her eyes.

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