District Sets Administrator Salaries

Pay ranges from $64,000 to $84,000 – in line with peer group

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Administrators in the Payson Unified School District generally make $64,000 to $84,000, which is a little below the salaries of school administrators elsewhere in the state, but a lot more than the average Payson salary.

The district’s school principals make $70,000 to $82,000, while the assistant principals generally make in the mid $60,000.

“All of our positions are within the average, with the exception of transportation supervisor — where our range is low,” said Kathie Manning, business manager of the district. The board approved raising the range for that position.

Manning said a low salary range makes it hard to attract qualified candidates.

Calculating the cost of administration remains a surprisingly complicated — and politically touchy question.

The district in the last several years has trimmed the teaching staff and boosted class sizes, but added administrators — and non-classroom positions to provide support. That includes the athletic director and student achievement teachers at each school site. They don’t teach classes but don’t count as administrators.

Nonetheless, the district has added several administrative positions as the budget has shrunk and class sizes have increased.

Statewide comparisons based on 2010-2011 figures reported to the state shows Payson’s administrative costs at about $767 per student, compared to state average of $697. However, larger school districts have lower per-student administrative costs based on economies of scale. At 2,400 students, Payson remains relatively small.

However, the share of the budget devoted to administration has risen in the past three years with a decline in the teaching staff, a significant rise in class sizes and the addition of extra administrative positions to deal with a slew of new state and federal requirements.

Last year, the board voted to remove Don Heizer’s athletic director position from the rolls of administrative pay. The board also approved the shifting two administrators from jobs as principals to serve instead as student achievement teachers. That move came too late to take them off the administrative list, but this year they’ll make the shift in budget category.

Student achievement teachers never qualified for administrative status.

Teachers work a nine-month contract. Administrators generally work a 208- to 219-day contract. A worker who worked five days a week for 52 weeks would spend 260 days on the job, which means most administrators get about 52 to 41 days off annually, not counting weekends.

Administrative salary comparison

*Information used for salary came from an Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) Salary Study.

*Information for enrollment came from the Auditor General’s most recent report on dollars spent in the classroom.

*Information on days off came from interviews with human resources personnel at similarly sized districts to PUSD.

Director of student achievement:

Two of the eight districts studied have two administrative positions that perform the duties of PUSD’s one administrator.

Average range of salary of other districts: $75,000 to $90,000

PUSD range: $79,000 to $94,000

Director of business services:

Three of eight districts studied have two administrative positions that perform the duties of our one position (business/finance and personnel).

Average salary of other districts: $70,000 to $89,000

PUSD range: $73,000 to $88,000

Director of special education:

Other districts: $67,000 to $85,000

PUSD range: $70,000 to $85,000

Director of maintenance/operations:

Other districts: $51,000 to $66,000

PUSD range: $61,000 to $76,000

Director of technology:

Other districts: $58,000 to $74,000

PUSD range: $61,000 to $76,000

High school principal salary:

Other districts: $70,000 to $86,000

PUSD range: $67,000 to $82,000

Middle school principal salary:

Other districts: $67,000 to $83,000

PUSD range: $64,000 to $79,000

Elementary principal salary:

Other districts: $66,000 to $85,000

PUSD range: $61,000 to $76,000

High school assistant principal salary:

Other districts: $59,000 to $73,000

PUSD range: $58,000 to $73,000

Transportation supervisor salary:

Other districts: $44,000 to $57,000

PUSD range: $35,000 to $50,000

ADMINISTRATIVE CONTRACTS

Director of Technology: Joni deSzendeffy – $65,000

Director of Special Services: Lisa Evans – $70,000

Director of Business Services: Kathie Manning – $78,000

Warehouse Supervisor: William Pocalun – $40,000

Director of Maintenance/Transportation: Todd Poer – $61,200

PHS Principal: Brian Mabb – $82,000

Assistant Principal: Jeff Simon – $64,400

RCMS Principal: Rob Varner – $71,631

PES Principal: Asa Hall – $67,000

JRE Principal: Will Dunman – $75,000

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