Steamboat Springs principals, directors get salary increases

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— 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."

Comments

another_local 7 years, 5 months ago

One reason that our district "seem to be hiring a lot of first year teachers" is that we do not offer the kind of transfer of seniority that other districts do to experienced teachers that might want to move here.

This means that an experienced teacher coming here will take a pay cut, often a very significant one, to move here. Combine that with high cost of living and it is a pretty unappealing package to many.

Another factor to consider when looking at salary comparisons is whether the positions you are comparing have the same work year. Some admin positions work as many as 8-10 more weeks per year than a teacher does.

I think we have some un-needed admin positions but in comparison to the private sector with respect to responsibility measured by direct reports, budget accountability and capital resource management, our admin people are not highly paid.

One really surprising comparison to me is the difference between senior teachers and starting teachers. The comp papckage is so highly weighted to seniority it is astounding. We can thank collective bargaining controlled by the senior staff intrests for that.

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exteacher 7 years, 5 months ago

There is no question that administrators everywhere are paid way too much in comparison to teachers. It is sickening to me what administrators make in this district - given all the problems they are causing, especially recently - I believe that is the number one reason for teacher apathy here. The teacher salary for starting and experienced teachers is not all that bad, better than most districts I've worked for in CO (and there have been many). The main reason (in my opinion) that there is such a lack of teacher retention of experienced teachers is the appalling lack of respect, recognition and support from adminitrators, starting with howell, continuing with the BOE, and on down to the school level admin. It takes a teacher a few years to recognize this, and then they move on to find a better fit. I would gladly work for less in a district (if the cost of living wasn't so prohibitive - as it is here) and take a cut in pay if I felt better supported and treated with more respect..... which is what I am doing..... The "attract and retain" program is a JOKE!! The community of Steamboat is what attracts new teachers here - NOT the schools. The retain part is the administrations responsibility. And they (howell on down) are doing their level best to chase away good teachers. No question it is hard to stay financially ahead here more than elsewhere, but it can be done - IF the school district would see fit to support teachers, NOT cut programs back and NOT nickel and dime us to the point of becoming financially destitute. Know that it is the school districts administrators that are chasing away good teachers.... Not the salary we are being paid.

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