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School administrators receive salary increases

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After a recent survey of schools, the Guthrie Board of Education approved salary increases for school administrators in the Guthrie school district to draw them closer to their district peers.

Guthrie SchoolsBefore the BOE approved the district’s administration pay increases, they unanimously (7-0) approved to increase Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson’s salary.

The BOE granted a $4,000 pay increase to Simpson to push his annual salary to $112,743.68. In addition, the BOE amended the superintendent’s phone allowance of $90. School administrators now use an E-rate program and no longer use their personal cell phone. All other terms and conditions remained in effect on the contract.

Simpson surveyed similar school districts to Guthrie and found the district was below average when it came to administrative incentive pay.

For district level administrators, they earn an income with an administrative incentive, teacher base salary and a longevity incentive.

On the district level administrative scale, the Assistant Superintendent, currently held by Dennis Schulz, administrative incentive increased from $42,000 to $43,500. The Executive Director position was bumped from $32,000 to $34,500. Those positions are held by Chad Wilson, Executive Director of Personnel & Secondary Education, and Carmen Walters, Executive Director of Federal Programs & Elementary Education.

The Director of Technology was elevated from $15,500 to $17,750 and is currently supervised by Dee Benson. Also, the Director of Special Education was increased from $14,000 to $15,250 and is overlooked by Eldona Woodruff.

The Athletic Director ($15,000), Director of Maintenance ($12,000) and Director of Transportation ($3,500) incentives remained the same.

With the administrative incentive and teacher salary scale, directors also earn $250 per year of “district” level administrative experience for up to 27 years.

Principals from each school, labeled as building level administrators, will also see pay increases in their administrative incentive.

Each of the four elementary principals incentives was increased from $13,000 to $18,000. The junior high principal was also increased by $5,000 from $18,000 to $23,000. The high school principal position was bumped from $28,000 to $30,000 in incentive pay.

Assistant principals across the district remained the same (elementary $11,500, junior high ($13,000, high school $20,000).

Along with their administrative incentive and teacher salary (based on the Bachelor’s salary scale), building administrators earned an additional $150 per year for each year of “building” level administrative experience up to 27 years.

In total, $41,500 was recommended by Simpson and approved by the BOE at the last board meeting on Monday, Sept. 9. Despite the increases, Simpson says the district is still below  compared to their peer districts salaries from a year ago.

Guthrie teachers paid above the state minimum

The Guthrie school district is above the state minimum when it comes to teacher pay in the state of Oklahoma.

A teacher’s salary in Oklahoma is determined by how many years taught and the level of college degree (Bachelors, Masters or Doctors). Another incentive for increase pay is for teachers to be National Board Certified.

According to the 2013-14 state minimum teacher salary schedule, a teacher with zero years of experience with a bachelor’s degree is set to earn $31,600 with “fringe benefits” such as retirement. For a Guthrie teacher, with the same experience, receives a $30,051.25 base salary and a $2,261.93 district paid teacher retirement for a total compensation of $32,313,18.

A teacher with 25 years experience and a bachelor’s degree will make a state minimum of $42,325. A Guthrie teacher with the same criteria will have earned $42,778.23.

  1. apaul
    September 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

    The district support staff is well below average as well but there hasn’t been any effort to bring us closer to the average. Your administrators & teachers can’t do it with out the support staff, but we get overlooked.

  2. apaul
    September 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

    District support staff is well below average as well but there hasn’t been any effort to bring us closer to the average. The administration & teachers can’t do it alone. Support staff has only seen a 15 cent raise in the last year, unlike the several increases administration has received.

  3. September 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Why not give the raises to those that actually do all the real work? The cafeteria workers, janitors and other support staff are the ones who deserve the pay raises…not the administrative staff.

    • apaul
      September 17, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Or at the least share the appreciation. I know some support staff go over and above and are required to do jobs administration are responsible for,yet the administrative staff gets raise after raise and the support staff is overlooked.

  4. Dr. Mike Simpson
    September 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Allow me to clear the air and provide some valuable information for our district patrons who have provided input to this article. Support staff are vital to Guthrie Public Schools. Their dedication and service to our students provide an environment where great things can happen. As with all staff, recruiting and retaining the best possible people make a huge difference in how successful we are as a district. Balancing that need with fiscal responsibility is ultimately my job as Superintendent. Early in my career, I worked in a district where all custodians were laid off in February because the Superintendent did not exercise fiscal responsibility.

    With this in mind, I wanted to mention that all support staff received raises each of the last two years. Over this period, support staff raises range (depending on seniority) between $ .45 and $1.25 per hour. In addition to this, all support employees have an option to receive comprehensive health insurance paid by the district.

    In addressing the administrative salary adjustments, we looked at 21 other school districts of similar size throughout the state. Of the 22 high school principal salaries, ours was last. Because of grade configurations the peer districts had 28 junior high/middle school principals and our salary ranked 25th out of 28. There were 88 elementary principals reviewed from the 22 districts. Our principals ranked 62, 84, 87 and 88. As the article points out, these adjustments still do not even approach the average of our peer schools salaries.

    Recruiting and retaining quality staff members at EVERY level will always be a priority with our district. Competitive salaries are a big part of this practice and hopefully our students are the ultimate beneficiary.

  5. apaul
    September 18, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I appreciate the information and am glad to know that our teachers are paid above the state minimum & that there is an effort to bring our administrator salaries to the average of our peer school salaries. GPS has so many dedicated support staff employees,some putting in as many hours as an adminstrator. It would be my wish that the district is making an effort to bring their pay to the average of those peer schools as well.

  6. September 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Teacher salaries in Guthrie are barely above the state minimum. Our pay compared to school districts in the area are thousands a year below other districts. Edmond pay for my experience is $6000 more per year. We lost 19 teachers at Guthrie High School to other districts. A large percentage of those were to receive higher pay. The teacher’s union for Guthrie was told that there was no money in the budget for pay raises, obviously not the case.

    Also, I am not sure any raises can be justified when I am working with a used computer from Edmond dated 2002. Students do not have access to reliable computers. Interenet access in the schools have been down for the large part of most days for the past 3 weeks during MAP testing because we are not capable of supporting the program. The students at Guthrie High School have to pay a $20 lab fee for any science past Biology 1. Our facilities are ridden with mold. Clearly the school board and Superintendent are not putting our students as the number 1 priority. It is very discouraging to those of us who work IN THE SCHOOLS to see NO progress, and yet those in charge feel they need to be rewarded with higher pay. The students of Guthrie Public Schools are the best hearted students I have had the honor to teach, and they deserve better.

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