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Elmbrook sets administrative salaries

Hike comes with changes to retirement plan

Jan. 24, 2012

The Elmbrook School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a salary and benefits compensation package increase of 0.45 percent for district administrators for the 2012-13 school year.

The increase does not affect the district's bottom line because it is being funded by ending the retirement fund component of the district's DAT Retirement Plan that expires June 30.

Being competitive

Superintendent Matt Gibson and Assistant Superintendent for Finance Keith Brightman said the district decided to shift the compensation into salary in order to allow the district to be more competitive.

Gibson said, "The salary increases are larger than they would otherwise be to partially offset reductions in the yet-to-be-completed employee retirement plan and to progress toward the objective of getting our administrative salaries into the upper quartile" of peers in comparable districts. He noted that teacher salaries are now near or at the top of their peer groups.

Brightman said two groups are looked at as peer comparables.

"We compare our compensation to districts in Waukesha County and to other high-performing districts like those in Whitefish Bay and Mequon," Brightman said. "So we have two ways of looking at this. We want to be as competitive as possible."

Elmbrook's budget assumptions for 2013 include a 4 percent increase in the health insurance premium, a 5 percent increase in dental insurance premium and a salary authority of $144,950 available for salary distribution. That amount would be divided into $59,950 across the board to high performers or $85,000 to individuals based on the objectives of performance, comparable external compensation, internal comparisons and added ongoing responsibilities.

Anticipating change

In response to a board question regarding whether salaries will continue to be judged on the basis of peer compensation rather than performance, Gibson noted that a new day is coming.

"We have tried to look at salaries from the standpoint of comparison inside and outside the district," he said. "In some cases, we took into consideration that some have take on added responsibilities, so some of the increase is based on aligning comparable duties and part is on high performance and additional duties.

"In the future, there will be a more sophisticated way to evaluate and compensate teachers and administrators as we will learn from the state," he said.

In an address to a statewide education conference earlier this month, Gov. Scott Walker noted impending legislation that would provide a new framework for assessing and compensating educators.

Board members were complimentary of Elmbrook's administrative work.

"I have gained a greater amount of appreciation for all the work that the administrative team does," Board President Tom Gehl said. "It is not easy to maintain quality in the face of economic realities.

"Ultimately, it is up to the community to decide how we are doing."

Approved salaries for one-year contracts

Chris Birr psychologist $78,270
Pam Brees social worker $81,810
Kristi Nelson Foy human resources director and staff counsel $90.910
Tanya Fredrich assistant director, special education; director of cooperative programs $94,680
Stacy Gahan psychologist $79,240
Corey Golla athletic and activities director $91,360
Stacey Knight social worker $76,660
Rae McClain psychologist $80,670
Susan McDonald social worker $79,070
Scott Miller director, facilities management $89,060
Peggy Riemer psychologist $79,230
Todd Sobrilsky athletic and activities director $90,660
Melanie Stewart director, assessment and secondary student learning $96.930
Chris Thompson chief information officer $113,090
Mary Washbush director, student learning $95,820

Approved salary recommendations for two-year contracts

Keith Brightman assistant superintendent, finance, operations and human resources $136,720
Natalie Collins associate principal $93,400
Jim Darin associate principal $81,370
Darcie Fellmeth associate principal $86,530
Kori Hartman principal $100,670
Alix Kasmarick principal $95,370
Don LaBonte principal $117,590
Robyn Martino principal $108,040
Dan Pavletich principal $117,410
Mark Pepperkorn associate principal $82,410
Lynn Raines principal $98,920
Cheryl Schenk associate principal $81,370
Mike Sereno principal $106,620
Jeanne Siegenthaler principal $101,750
Nick Schulek associate principal $84,520

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