, Salem, MA

Local News

March 20, 2014

Salem may hike principal salaries

Higher pay sought to attract strong school leaders


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


School Principal Salary
Salem High Dave Angeramo $120,000
Collins Middle Mary Manning $109,945
Bowditch (K-8) William Shevory* $434 per day
Bates Tom LaValley $100,078
Bentley Diane O’Donnell** $387 per day
Bentley Gabrielle Montevecchi*** $400 per day
Carlton Jean-Marie Kahn $96,262
Horace Mann Kathryn Singh $100,500
Saltonstall Julie Carter $94,554
Witchcraft Heights Mark Higgins $110,997

* Interim principal

** Retired principal serving as co-principal

*** Co-principal







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