Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday unanimously approved salaries and benefits packages for administrators that brings them closer to the mean for comparable districts. Just six administrators remain below the mean.
Superintendent Donna Howell gave the board proposals that provided for salary increases of $30,402 and $25,648 for administrators. The board approved the higher salary increase and an additional one time, 1 percent payment that School Board President Denise Connelly said would boost administrator morale.
Last year, eight out of 13 administrators earned less than the market average. The approved package leaves six administrators earning less than the total package mean, which includes salary, auto allowance and health benefits. Howell noted the gap was closed on those still below the mean.
"The director of transportation, (Ed Dingledine), was 34.35 percent below the package mean last year," she said. "This year the position is 24.58 percent below the package mean."
Other administrators inching closer to the mean average included Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich, whose salary increased 4.09 percent from $92,896 to $98,000. Knezevich remains 8.49 percent under the average package mean.
Connelly noted that it's difficult calculating the comparative salaries because the board does not have all the employee information on administrators in comparative districts.
School Board member John DeVincentis voted to approve the salary and compensation packages, but noted he is concerned about a growing disparity between adminstrator salaries and teacher salaries.
"My number one concern is that we find the most qualified teacher and we seem to be hiring a lot of first year teachers right out of student teaching," said DeVincentis, who noted teacher salaries increases were on average lower than administrator salary increases.
Connelly said comparing teacher salaries to administrators is not like comparing "apples to apples."