2 district officials get raises

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— Two Steamboat Springs School District officials now have higher salaries to match their new job responsibilities.

The School Board on Monday approved new job descriptions and pay increases for Dale Mellor, director of finance and operations, and Kelly Stanford, director of curriculum and instruction.

The changes, unanimously approved by the School Board, are a direct result of recommendations made in a detailed curriculum management audit of the school district. Among the audit's findings was that the district's organizational chart wasn't structured for sound management of the school system. Superintendent Donna Howell made revising the organizational structure of district administrators a top priority following the release of the 160-page audit report in June. The audit report included a recommended organizational chart giving clearer and broader authority to Mellor and Stanford.

Although the School Board previously approved the revised organizational chart, which gives Mellor and Stanford supervisory responsibility over many other district administrators, Monday marked the release of the specific job descriptions for each revised position.

Mellor's new responsibilities include supervising and evaluating accounting personnel and operations directors, interviewing and hiring staff for departments, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the district's purchasing program and implementing district-wide and department-level strategic plans. He will oversee the payroll manager, accounts payable manager, grants accountant, facilities director, nutritional services director and transportation director.

Stanford's new responsibilities include supervising technology, data management and program planning and evaluation departments, developing and implementing a districtwide staff development plan, coordinating the budgets for curriculum and instruction, visiting schools to monitor progress and needs, and aligning existing district systems. She will oversee the technology director, teachers on special assignment, the grants writer, technology coordinators and library media specialists.

"What's exciting to me is -- sure, it's a lot of responsibility -- but we're also being provided a focus and supports that we haven't had before," Stanford told School Board members. She said she anticipates a more structured environment than what has existed previously.

Stanford now will be able to dedicate herself to curriculum development, particularly because her involvement with the Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay system appears to be over, Howell said.

In response to the added responsibilities, the School Board approved a $4,989 raise for Mellor and a $4,705 raise for Stanford. Mellor's annual base salary is $79,195 -- up from the $71,270 he was paid during the 2003-04 school year. The raise includes the 2.25 percent step increase and 1.87 percent competitive market adjustment increase received by all district administrators.

Stanford's annual salary increases to $77,974; she was paid $67,220 during the 2003-04 school year. Her raise, in addition to the step and competitive market increases, also includes $3,279 for additional workdays performed this summer.

Howell said the district used a market analysis to determine the appropriate salaries for Mellor's and Stanford's new jobs. Both Mellor and Stanford surpass the qualifications needed for their jobs, she said.

"We still haven't brought them up to (market value), but we felt that was all we could do this year," Howell said. Their salaries and responsibilities should be in line with those of building principals, she said. The district's four building principals are paid an average salary of $85,667.

Next month, Howell will present the School Board with new job descriptions for the rest of the district's administrators. No other salary increases are anticipated.

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