Danvers School Employees Top Earners for 2010

Teachers do not weigh as heavily in the top of the high-earners’ list on the town payroll, but there are a number of senior teachers earning just as much or more than school principals.

This is the third part in a series looking at town employee salaries in 2010. The first part looked at the while the second part looked at . The final installment here covers school employees.

employees did not place as highly on the list of top earners in town, but there are a fair number, excluding administrators, who earned at the top step of their pay scale and then some.

Six employees earned more than $100,000 and about 35 teachers (on the payroll, “teacher” also identifies some support staff, such as guidance counselors) took home just under or more than $88,000 – the top step on the scale. Some of those teachers in fact cracked $100,000 or were close to it.

School Business Manager Richard Warren said the most likely explanation is that in addition to the teachers being at the top step, they were receiving stipends for coaching athletics or running co-curricular activities. The schools do not have teachers act as department heads for which they would receive stipends, Warren said. And in some cases, contract provisions account for the extra pay.

For example, Joy Leblanc, a guidance counselor with many years in the Danvers Public Schools, was paid $104,085. That’s primarily due to a contract provision for guidance counselors because they work 10 extra days in the school year.

Another example is middle school health and physical education teacher Roger Day, who is also the head high school varsity baseball coach. Day earned $97,376 last year and is paid a stipend of $4,790 for coaching baseball. He was also an assistant football coach as well.

In addition to Leblanc, the other five school employees above $100,000 were all administrators. Superintendent of Schools Lisa Dana earned $153,885, Assistant Superintendent/Danvers High Principal Susan Ambrozavitch earned $133,570, Holten-Richmond Middle School Principal Michael Cali earned $127,189, Director of Student Services Kathleen Curtis earned $106,254 and Warren earned $105,516.

Dana’s salary under her new contract doesn’t include additional compensation or allowances, although she was previously given a retirement allowance of 6 percent of her salary for a retirement annuity. Ambrozavitch, Cali and DHS Assistant Principal Mark Strout also all receive stipends for additional duties they’ve taken on for the life of the high school renovation project.

For 2012, Ambrozavitch will get $25,000 extra for continuing as DHS Principal, Cali will receive $15,000 for overseeing the renovation project and Strout will get $10,000 for shouldering more administrative duties at the high school as the Senior Assistant Principal.

“It’s a huge savings when compared with hiring another school principal,” Warren said.

Another thing revealed by a look at salaries is the small difference in earnings between most administrators and top-level teachers, which has created a level of inequity the School Committee has been trying to adjust for in recent years.

During budget sessions for fiscal 2012, board member William Bates raised some objections to small equity raises yet again for administrators in light of the economic circumstances. Committee members argued that asking non-union staff to take pay freezes in tough times inevitably created a cycle of inequity.

School employees who cracked the top 100 earners:

# Name Job Title Earnings 5 Lisa Dana Superintendent of Schools $153,885 8 Susan Ambrozavitch Assistant Superintendent of Schools/DHS Principal $133,570 12 Michael Cali Middle School Principal $127,189 43 Kathleen Curtis Director of Student Services $106,254 47 Richard Warren School Business Manager $105,516 50 Joy Leblanc Teacher $104,085 55 Mark Strout High School Assistant Principal $97,829 56 Roger Day Teacher $97,376 61 Lydia Hallinen Teacher $96,075 62 Ronald Parsons Teacher $95,952 64 Thomas McCarthy III Great Oak Assistant Principal $95,568 67 Mary Wermers Schissel Middle School Curriculum Director $94,442 68 Lisbeth Applebaum Teacher $94,376 72 Julie MacDonald Middle School Assistant Principal $93,452 73 Karri Isodoro School Psychologist $93,259 75 Janis Clifford Teacher $92,216 77 Johnsie MacDougall Teacher $93,098 78 Gary Nihan K-12 Health and Physical Education Director $93,055 80 John Hodsdon Teacher $92,911 81 Elizabeth Matthews Highlands School Principal $92,893 84 Kathleen Harney Teacher $92,262 86 Maureen Carroll Teacher $91,407 88 Carolyn Belcher Teacher $90,882 89 Christine Wise Teacher $90,100 92 Margaret McElhinney High School Curriculum Director $89,718 93 Judith Forest Teacher $89,551 95 Denise DiGregorio Teacher $89,373 96 Deborah Arno Middle School Assistant Principal $89,282 97 Sharon Burrill Smith School Principal $89,218 98 Matthew Fusco Great Oak School Principal $89,218 99 Janice Pendergast Teacher $89,093
Stephen Gilliss April 10, 2011 at 10:55 AM
Teaching is the noblest of professions. I'm proud to say I presently have three children in the Danvers school system, one of whom wishes to become a teacher herself one day. Thus it's good to see Danvers rewards its teachers so richly. I'm hopeful, as such, that 'fair compensation' will no longer be a factor in negotiations with teacher unions as we look for ways to balance our budget now and into the future.


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