Administrator raises approved

Monday's meeting was last for Superintendent Smyser


Discussion items

Items from Monday's Steamboat Springs School Board meeting:

- Friends of Education Award presented

- Adoption of 2008-09 budget

- Colorado Growth Model presentation

- Administrator salaries approved

- Error in district survey will result in fewer results

- Approval of emergency generator for Steamboat Springs Middle School

- Soda Creek Elementary School construction update

- All-day kindergarten update

- Increase in school lunch fee discussed

- Expulsion committee and policies update

— The Steamboat Springs School Board voted Monday to give district administrators a pay raise of up to 3 percent, an amount equal to the average pay increase for teachers.

The board approved the raises by a 3-2 vote. The raises will range from about a half percent to nearly 3 percent based on the administrator's current salary in relation to other administrators in similar positions around the state.

Board members Denise Connelly and John DeVincentis voted against the proposed contracts, advocating slightly smaller raises because of the benefits already in administrator contracts.

DeVincentis said he supported a maximum raise of 2.5 percent because administrators pay less than teachers in insurance costs for additional family members.

"I'd like to see us begin to recognize where the real work is being done," he said, adding that he would prefer the board to focus on attracting and retaining quality teachers.

Contracts for administrators are up for review annually and are negotiated separately from faculty and staff contracts. The board in late August voted to approve faculty and staff raises of a half-percent across the board, plus annual increases for experience. The total raises averaged about 3 percent overall.

Also discussed at the meeting, which included 20 agenda items and took more than three hours, was the district's budget for the next school year. District Finance Director Dale Mellor told the board that revenue increased to $20.81 million for the 2008-09 school year, an increase of $342,080 from this past school year.

Friends of Education

Friends of Education award recipients Julie Taulman, Shelly St. Pierre and Ed MacArthur were presented with plaques by the board for their service to Steamboat Springs schools. Taulman and St. Pierre were awarded by board member Laura Anderson for their work organizing and fundraising for new universal playgrounds designed for children of all physical abilities. The new playgrounds will be installed at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools.

MacArthur was singled out by board President Robin Crossan for in-kind donations from his company, Native Excavating, and his role in the creation of the turf field at the high school.

"Ever since I moved here, I heard about this guy Ed," Crossan said as she met MacArthur in person for the first time.

Smyser farewell

Monday's board meeting was the last for interim Superintendent Sandra Smyser. Board members complimented her on her performance as superintendent while also acknowledging the difficulties the district has faced during the year, including the contract buyout of former superintendent Donna Howell and the recent non-renewal of Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich's contract.

Crossan presented Smyser with a gift and said, "It's been a very interesting year."

The board then took turns wishing Smyser farewell.

"You're done an exceptional job for us and got us moving in the right direction," DeVincentis said. "We've had a great year with you, and I wish you all the best."

Anderson said she was impressed by Smyser's resiliency during the year.

"We put you through the wringer, and you kept smiling the whole time," she said.

Smyser also presented the board with several updates, including a potential decrease in tuition for all-day kindergarten students and a report from Harris Interactive Surveys, which reported an error in their survey process that will void some data from middle and high school students.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail


MtnWarlock 8 years, 10 months ago

It is no surprise to me that a 3% increase was awarded to the administration salary. I believe Dr D's argument was fair because, the administration receives "all" their insurance premiums paid fully for family and stipends for gasoline! A 3% raise to an administrators pay is different from a teachers pay and a huge difference to support staff! The inequity is unbelievable! 3% does not seem like much however, I guess it is just which receiving end in where your job title places you on that percentage which does! Teachers pay their portion of insurance premiums and so does the support staff. Now we can see why the district has no support staff to clean the schools or drive busses! Retain and attract! That is a joke and an understatement! Ask the people, who do the jobs, you'll see a much different story! I know, I have. Have a good day!


handyman 8 years, 10 months ago

"I'd like to see us begin to recognize where the real work is being done," he said, adding that he would prefer the board to focus on attracting and retaining quality teachers.

I agree that when we think of the schools and education, the first thing we think of is the teachers. But, I take issue with that statement, Dr. D. When was the last time you saw a school without a principal to lead them, without a janitor to keep the place clean, without an office manager to take care of the daily business, without the classroom aide to assist the teacher, without all of the support staff to make the entire process run. It takes the entire team to get the real work done.


beagle 8 years, 10 months ago

colorado pu - Give it a rest. We've seen you do this before. Your obsession is showing.


skygazer 8 years, 10 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember that the teachers received a 1/2 percent pay raise, not a 3 percent raise. The additional increase, that is glossed over in the article, is based on experience, i.e., a first year teacher doesn't receive the same pay as a fifth year teacher.


outsiderlookingin 8 years, 10 months ago

Hence the problem with percentages. Even with the same percent raise the rich get richer and the poor continue to struggle. 3% of 100 grand widens the gap between those with 3% making 38 grand a year


skygazer 8 years, 10 months ago

I should not have skimmed the article, I see that the teacher pay raise was correctly listed. I agree with outsider entirely.


jezilu 8 years, 10 months ago

Warlock Sounds like you were still asleep when you wrote in this morning. Somewhat incoherent. Let us know which of those administrators are undeserving; you seem to have an inside view of things.

In looking over the board minutes (you are all welcome to do so), a comment made by D--"funny, I did not discover this discrepancy [re: administration salary/benefits] until after I retired."


autumnwitch 8 years, 10 months ago

Anyone who goes to a conference be it a teacher or administrator, gets reimbursed for gas, a stipend is not given for everyday driving. (unless things have changed since I worked there!) And for John to imply that the administrators don't work their butts off for their pay-many of them work the entire year,(that's 12 months like the rest of us) is insulting to them and to himself as a former principal. Duh! Increases in pay were based on market increases not straight across the board if I understand the article correctly.


MtnWarlock 8 years, 10 months ago

jezzy, You sound a lot like a former administrator I know! I don't believe there was any mention of deservedness here. Are you carrying a complex from your tenure?

autumn, Administrators receive a gas stipend whether they use it or not. Sure, others are reimburse for school functions, others are not! Market analysis is not always followed in school district negotiations however, it sounds good! Meaning, some receive more than market, some receive less. And by the way, I do know a lot because I am highly involved, just not an employee. Almost ran for the board once! Have a good day!


MtnWarlock 8 years, 10 months ago

autumn, Yeah, I'm glad I'm not involved at this time! Have a good evening.


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