May 05, 2015 - 2:31 PM
VERNON - Despite tight financial times, the Vernon School District’s superintendent was granted a raise last year, the first for that position since 2006.
Joe Rogers is one of at least two other Okanagan superintendents (Kelowna's Hugh Gloster and Penticton's Wendy Hyer) to receive a fatter salary after the Ministry of Education lifted a restriction on wage increases for the position. All other administrative wages remain frozen.
School District 22 Board Chair Kelly Smith says the decision to increase his salary was made in October 2014. Rogers has 30 years of experience in education, some of it in the Vernon School District, and was hired as the superintendent in 2013. His salary was about $123,000 that year.
The exact wage increase has not been discussed at a public meeting and is therefore not being made public at this time, Smith says.
In a climate of budget deficits and cutbacks Smith says it was a hard decision for the board, one made with the district’s best interests in mind. The board had already decided against a wage increase in 2013 when it was looking for someone to fill the position. Because of that, the district lost a number of applicants, Smith says. After Rogers came on, and other, similarly-sized school districts were handing out raises, the board felt it needed to do something to keep its new superintendent where he was.
“We needed things to remain stable,” Smith says. “In 2013, we had the rug pulled out — our secretary treasurer and superintendent were gone at the same time. Luckily we got Joe and he has been absolutely amazing. He saved us during the strike, made sure our international students stayed with us, he’s made sure money has gone back into the classroom, he’s made really good leadership decisions for us.”
Rogers’ salary is now ranked fourth in a cohort of seven similarly-sized school districts.
The Kamloops-Thompson School District has not increased the salary for its superintendent. Karl deBruijn took the role this past school year and opted to not negotiate the salary.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015