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School Board Upping Pay For New Superintendent

Next District 308 chief will receive about 17 percent more than outgoing O'Donnell.

Whoever is hired to replace Dan O’Donnell as superintendent of  will receive about a 17.5 percent pay increase over what O’Donnell made this year.

According to the Ray and Associates job posting on the superintendent search firm’s website, the salary range for the new hire is $235,000 plus benefits. O’Donnell was paid $200,000 this year plus benefits, confirmed Kristy Kuntz, the district’s executive director of human resources.

Board President Bill Walsh said the board partly looked at surrounding districts for guidance in setting the new salary guideline.

“After the board reviewed comparable compensations of surrounding areas as well as listening to the feedback from all the groups interviewed by Ray and Associates, the decision was made to align a compensation package accordingly,” he wrote in an email response to questions. “We expect that this package will attract a visionary candidate, who possesses the leadership and strong administrative skills necessary to lead this district of 17,200 students.”

By comparison, outgoing Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Mark Mitrovich is being paid $228,000 in the final year of this three-year contract and Plainfield District 202 Superintendent John Harper is paid about $251,000 annually, according to financial reports from districts 202 and 203. 

District 308 faces a $4 million preliminary budget shortfall next year due partly to the hiring of at least 25 new teachers for the 2012-13 school year. Walsh said the pay raise is justified given the many challenges facing the district in coming years.

“The community, district employees and Board of Education have high expectations of this individual to lead the district through the conversion to the common core standards, help manage the high school schedule change to Flex 8, navigate the district through the evaluation criteria for the district’s educators as outlined in Senate Bill -7, build a vision for the district based on the changes encountered with limited resources, as well as many other initiatives, thus an appropriate investment in the right individual will pay dividends for years to come,” he wrote.

O’Donnell will leave the district June 30 after nearly three years on the job. He , citing continued differences with members of the school board.

The search for his replacement is ongoing and Ray and Associates are . Prospective candidates may begin interviews with the board as early as the second week in May.

ayar April 18, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Maybe it's worth considering hiring some former deputy superintendent who has the certificates or degrees to get into the slot for $195K to learn the job.....it worked for Cass School district 63 and our own former Dr. Kerry Foderaro if I remember right....he was a deputy superintendent here first, before he moved up, maybe we can find someone else in a similar role elsewhere ?
Beth Krane April 21, 2012 at 09:32 AM
Ridiculous! You cannot pay teachers a fair salary, you are cutting necessities that directly impact students, you are cutting busing which impacts students AND families, yet you want to give our new superintendent a pay raise. Logically I'd look more closely at the superintendent that is willing to come in here, to our Podunk little suburban of a town that is willing to take a salary that is in tune with our cost of living and needs than someone looking to make exponentially more than the average Oswego-an. Then let's take some of that surplus salary and start making positive changes back to our educational community. We don't need a PhD in here. We just need someone who is compassionate and passionate about education and developing a stronger foothold in America's society by giving our youth what they need to make a difference. And to the person that compared this position to that of a CEO. Personally, I think that is ill-compared. Most CEO are private organization with either private funding, a marketable commodity, or other forms of financial support such as stocks and trades. This is school. Under funded by our wonderful federal government, and over taxed by economic standards. We should at least be getting what we pay for and I have yet to see that happen.
Leland H. Hoffer April 23, 2012 at 05:23 AM
For the record, in a previous Patch blog, I dittoed Paul Lark’s opposition to use of Search Firms. In fact my comment followed Pseudonym Saunders comment agreeing with Paul. I further stated that Search Firm historically set a high salary to quickly attract applicants to fill the vacancy so that they can move on to the next placement contract for their next commission. This causes a continuing ratcheting up of salaries. I have commended the board on their saving in construction costs; however, I have given my disapproval of the excessive salary being offered for a Superintendent. A high salary does not guarantee you will get the best candidate. For those who toss out big numbers as justification for a large salary they might want to look at the 308 organizational chart which shows the superintendent only supervises four persons. Regarding Pseudo Saunders disrespectful comment that maybe the Colonel will come out of hiding, it is he who cowardly hides in the closet using a Pseudonym instead of a real name. I do not hide and I use my name because I have nothing to hide but I will choose when and on what I will comment.
Richard Saunders April 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Wow Colonel, I had to go back almost a week to see what you were referring to. What I meant by coming out of hiding had nothing to do with revealing who you are, or who I am. I was talking about your propensity to point out the fact that some current or previous administrators are drawing salaries while also drawing pensions from other states.
Beth Krane April 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Thank you for taking the time to help educate me (if not others) on how the salary seems to be going up when everything else important is shrinking (i.e. teacher's, aides, buses, their salaries). Maybe, just maybe, some local will walk in and make an offer they cannot refuse. And if they do, they'd be the fools. Maybe a teacher will respectively say, "Give me a chance." After all, what could it hurt? And I agree, it's not the dollar amount that should sell the position. It is the interest in our children's futures, and that of our overall educational community.

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