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May 8, 2013

Innovation starts at the top

(Continued)

“I didn’t expect anybody to take 40 days. That (total cost savings) came up to about $40,000 when we put it all in the pot.”

And $40,000 is about one job saved.

“I think next year is going to be as hard as this year,” Blair said of the fiscal situation.

But he has begun planning next year’s strategy — they are looking for ways to share resources with neighboring Chazy Central Rural School. 

“We’ve been asking, could we share a teacher? Could we share a head of transportation?”

PAY FREEZES

And many superintendents are doing what they can by declining raises or freezing their salary.

Among them have been Ticonderoga Central School Superintendent John McDonald, whose pay, $131,000, was the same for the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years according to See Through NY; and Saranac Central’s top administrator, Kenneth Cringle, whose annual $114,174 didn’t change for those three years either.

Dale Breault Jr., superintendent at Chateaugay Central School, was paid $109,242 both in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and Beekmantown Central’s Scott Amo didn’t see a raise those years, either; his pay was $165,407.

A 2012-13 survey by the Council of School Superintendents found that 45 percent of the state’s school superintendents accepted salary freezes, compared to 35 percent of teachers’ unions. 

And 79 percent of superintendents reported they had done that at least once in the past three years.

“The state average superintendent salary has been about flat for three years,” Lowry said. “Our sense is superintendents, on average, are taking smaller raises and freezing their pay.

“And when a school board (that is) looking for a new superintendent hires someone, they’re paying less than they were a few years ago.” 

MOST CHALLENGING TIMES

St. Regis Falls and Brushton-Moira made the move to share a superintendent in the 2011-12 school year, hiring interim St. Regis Falls Superintendent Beverly Ouderkirk and giving the school boards time to find a permanent person.

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