Pay raises have been approved for some returning administrators with new contracts in the Wellington school district.
The board of education voted last Tuesday to increase the salaries of special education supervisor Laura Groboske, athletic director Dennis Zeigler, high school assistant principal Sean Arno, and middle school principal Craig Housum.
Groboske, Zeigler, and Arno are receiving one percent increases while Housum is receiving a five percent raise.
Despite the increases, the board is expected to save $66,736 when comparing the totals of salaries for eight administrators last year and seven for this upcoming school year.
Board member Ayers Ratliff did not support the increases.
“I just feel that as a board member I have to look at the big picture,” he said. “The big picture is that we’re going to have to in a couple years pass a school levy and if the community finds out and knows that we raised administrators’ salaries when we cut 27 teachers that is not going to settle very well in our community.”
Board president Joe Calfo disagreed with Ratliff and said salary increases are needed to retain good employees.
“The basic idea of this board is to freeze the administrative salaries, then fight about them every year, which is destructive,” he said. “We’re talking about a step increase and a one percent raise and that’s not outside the realm of possibilities for retaining administrators in this district.”
Calfo said in his four years on the board he’s seen four superintendents and three treasurers.
Wellington Schools treasurer Michael Pissini and superintendent Dennis Mock just joined the district at the end of the school year.
“If you want quality people you have got to be able to tell them what they’re going to be making in five, six, seven years so they come here and they’re actually serious about taking jobs,” Calfo said.
Board member Sally Stewart said administrators are also taking on more roles in their positions. For example, Housum is taking on the responsibilities of the event manager which was a position the district eliminated.
Ratliff then mentioned that Housum and other administrators’ State Teachers Retirement System personal contribution is paid for by the board.
Its contribution for the 2015-2016 school year is 13 percent and goes up one percent for 2016-2017.
Teachers have to make their own personal contributions.
Calfo said that in order to remain competitive the district must provide administrators with raises and work on creating a competitive salary schedule.
Ratliff agreed the increases being made for the upcoming school year weren’t excessive or undeserved but maintained the belief that the raises could cost them valuable levy votes.
When the issue came to a vote, all members voted yes expect Ratliff.
The four administrators’ current contract salary expires July 31.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Wellington school board member Ayers Ratliff doesn’t believe giving administrators raises is a wise choice by the district.
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