A total of 53 candidates applied by last week’s deadline from around New England and a few other states.
Screening committees are being set up with the goal of selecting finalists for the three positions by the end of April and new principals by mid-May.
But, first, the School Committee intends to set higher salaries in the hope of landing top candidates. Currently, Collins Principal Mary Manning earns nearly $110,000, and Bates Principal Tom LaValley earns $100,000. Both are veteran school leaders with many years of experience.
The Bentley co-principals and the Bowditch interim principal are paid daily rates ranging from $387 to $434, according to school records.
Russell is recommending new salary ranges of $110,000 to $118,000 for elementary principals, $112,000 to $120,000 for middle school principals, and $118,000 to $125,000 for the high school.
To support his case, he presented data to the school board showing higher salaries in many other communities.
The matter was referred to a subcommittee, with the expectation the school board will vote on new salary scales on April 7.
Salem has to hike its principal pay in order to land candidates willing and capable of guiding a turnaround school, Russell contends.
“If someone can go as close as Lynnfield or Swampscott or Marblehead and make considerably more money, then it puts us at a disadvantage,” he said. “Not only do we now pay you less, but we offer you more challenges.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|SALEM PRINCIPALS' PAY|
|Salem High||Dave Angeramo||$120,000|
|Collins Middle||Mary Manning||$109,945|
|Bowditch (K-8)||William Shevory*||$434 per day|
|Bentley||Diane O’Donnell**||$387 per day|
|Bentley||Gabrielle Montevecchi***||$400 per day|
|Horace Mann||Kathryn Singh||$100,500|
|Witchcraft Heights||Mark Higgins||$110,997|
* Interim principal
** Retired principal serving as co-principal