School leaders, managers see 4- to 15-percent increases for 2013-14
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · July 05, 2013

While most school administrators will receive a salary-and-benefits increase of 4.08 to 4.18 percent — similar to the teaching staff — the technology coordinator and dean of students/activities director will see increases of 10 to 15 percent.

The West Branch Board of Education, at its June meeting, also approved a three-year contract for Superintendent Kevin Hatifield that increases his salary and benefits by 4.33 percent this coming year. The three-year contract gives him a total 11.25 percent increase, or an average of 3.75 percent per year.

The total package of increases for management and administration amounts to nearly $44,000 for the 2013-14 school year. Along with about $170,000 in increases for the teachers, there will also be more than $20,000 more for the teaching associates, $7,500 more for the custodians, $5,800 more for secretaries, $3,400 more for nutrition workers, and $2,800 more for drivers. The total amounts to more than $253,000 in salary and benefits increases for school staff.

Board President Mike Owen pointed out that the administration and management positions “are in the same general area” as the teachers’ contract, though they are “structured in different ways.”

The increase for the technology coordinator, Doug Cummings, comes after the school district completed its first year of furnishing laptops to every pupil from fifth through 12th grades.

His salary-and-benefits package increased from nearly $63,800 to nearly $70,400, an increase of 10.41 percent.

“This better reflects his duties,” Owen said.

The dean of students/activities director is Jeff Wrede. This position was created one year ago to free up the school principals to spend more time on things like evaluating staff, and less time on things like handling student discipline. The school board originally created the position for a one-year trial run.

Wrede’s package increased from just over $63,000 to nearly $72,500, up about 15 percent.

Owen said Wrede’s increase was also to better reflect his duties.

As for the superintendent’s contract, Owen said that the school board wants him to know they appreciate what he has done in his first two years.

Hatfield’s contract is increasing from just over $147,500 to just over $152,200 staring July 1. In the third year of the contract, his salary and benefits will increase to $160,600.

“We want to make a statement that we support you for pointing us in the right direction,” Owen said at the June 10 meeting.

Board member Kathy Knoop agreed.

“As Huey Lewis said, ‘We’re happy to be stuck with you,’” she smiled.

Other pay increases approved for administration and management:

Name Title 2012-13 2013-14

Angie Klinkkammer Biz. Mgr. $84,600 $88,200

Joe Lande Trans./Grnds $83,500 $87,000

Jess Burger Elem.Prin. $115,100 $118,600

Sara Oswald MS Prin. $115,600 $119,000

Michelle Lukavsky HS Prin. $124,300 $128,200

Knoop said the roles of administrators are changing, and “the dynamics of the buildings change.”

“We don’t want to lose the people we’ve got,” she said. “We need to keep everybody here.”

Owen said the salaries are comparable to others in the state.

Board member Richard Paulus agreed that the school “has excellent staff in place.”

“We’ve got real momentum right now,” he said.

Hatfield said he and the staff “appreciate board support.”

“We want to keep working hard,” he said.

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