School Board to consider salaries

Different comparisons possible for administrators


District administrators' salaries for 2006-07

- Superintendent Donna Howell: $145,229

- Assistant to Superintendent Anne Muhme: $57,803

- Director of Finance and Operations Dale Mellor: $87,231

- Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kelly Stanford (resigned in February): $84,068

- Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich: $92,896

- Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop: $89,724

- Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris: $85,165

- Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal Mark MacHale: $85,178

- High School Assistant Principal Kevin Taulman: $78,804

- Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter: $72,310

- Director of Technology Tim Miles: $73,000

- Director of Facilities Rick Denney: $63,352

- Director of Transportation Ed Dingledine: $51,642

- Director of Nutritional Services Shelly Knupp: $50,078

— The Steamboat Springs School Board could determine how much to pay its administrators based on information from a different set of comparable school districts than what is used to determine teacher salaries.

School Board President Denise Connelly said the board will meet today at 4 p.m. in executive session at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center to develop the new administrative salary packages.

The board previously used a list of nine comparable districts from across the state, but the administrative salary packages may be developed using statistics from four districts that are similar to Steamboat in terms of enrollment, but not in cost of living.

Connelly said the board requested the new list because the additional districts better compare to the size of the Steamboat Springs School District.

"Teachers are teachers no matter where you go," she said. "You usually have 25 students or so in a classroom, and their responsibilities are similar at most schools. A teacher in Steamboat has the same responsibilities as a teacher in Cherry Creek."

Connelly said because of similar responsibilities throughout the state at the certified and support staff level, the board compared districts that are similar in performance, location and cost of living when they developed pay and benefits packages for teachers.

The nine comparative districts used for teachers included the Summit School District, Aspen School District, Cherry Creek Schools, Douglas County School District, Cheyenne Mountain School District, Boulder Valley School District, Academy 20 School District, Thompson School District and Roaring Fork School District.

The new list to be used for administrative salaries includes the Eagle County School Dis-trict, Alamosa School District, Durango School District and the Florence School District.

"We'll look at the whole of administrators, down to directors like finance and curriculum," she said. "At the administrative level, you can't compare our district to Cherry Creek because they have a lot more kids."

Dale Mellor, the district's director of finance and operations, said he compiled the new list based on the board's request.

"I don't know why they asked for it, but they are districts similar in size, but not cost of living," he said. "It's my understanding these lists are totally separate and are not going to be combined."

Mellor said the preliminary budget approved by the board on June 20 included a 3 percent pay raise for administrators.

"I allocated 3 percent across the board just to get something on there," he said. "The board can look at that and go higher or lower."

Connelly said Tuesday afternoon that she has yet to examine the pay and benefits packages for administrators on the new list.

"We just wanted some more information so we can do the best we can for making a judgment based on rationale, and the board needed the size of the district to have a valid comparison," she said. "We want to do the best we can for our employees while still being fiscally responsible."

The Durango and Eagle County school districts are more than twice the size of Steamboat. Alamosa has about the same student enrollment as Steamboat, and Florence has about 300 less students than Steamboat, according to 2006 statistics from the Colorado Department of Education.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in Routt County was $268,500. The value was $87,900 in Alamosa County, $183,900 in La Plata County (Durango), $104,900 in Fremont County (Florence) and $369,100 in Eagle County.

School performance in the four districts are mixed, with most Florence and Alamosa schools rating as "average" on the state's School Account-ability Reports. The ratings of Eagle County schools ranged from "low" to "excellent," and Durango schools were mostly rated "high."

Steamboat schools typically are rated "excellent" and "high" on the state system, which primarily uses Colorado Student Assessment Program test scores to assign a rating.

Connelly said she hopes to have the salary packages approved during today's meeting, but she stressed the process is complicated and tedious.

"We set aside two hours to work on this," said Connelly, who noted public comments on the administrative pay and benefits packages are scheduled for 6 p.m. "We need to move forward with this soon to help with the budgeting process."


sunflowergirl9999 9 years, 10 months ago

A teacher at SSHS and Cherry Creek High School are not the same. I know because I have worked at both. I wish Ms. Connelly wouldn't say things she doesn't have any idea about.


autumnwitch 9 years, 10 months ago

You can't tell me they have the same exact things going on. And small class sizes are NOT the norm so don't even try that garbage.


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