Board pleased with Supt. —Carver given $9,000 salary increase

Supt. John Carver

Supt. John Carver

By Marcie Klomp

John Carver was hired last year and given a three-year contract as superintendent at Howard-Winneshiek School District. The board voted to extend his contract another year at the July 22 meeting in the high school media center. Members then had to decide about a salary increase.

Member Karlos McClure, himself a former superintendent, commented, “If we feel he’s done the job, and we gave him a three-year contract, it’s just a matter of formally making that an extension.”

Carver replied, “I very much appreciate that. A year ago, my wife and I took a step of faith and it’s been a good year.”

Acting board president Scott Fortune added, “We appreciate your efforts, and we’ll continue to support you.”

Talk then turned to money and what sort of raise Carver should receive. McClure spoke up. “The bottom line is, how satisfied are we with the progress that has been made through that office? What kind of [fame] has come to our school district? How much has he been getting involved with the community, working through the state offices? Those are all things we have to consider.”

He then went on to list some of Carver’s strengths, including the tremendous amount of positive feedback the district has received. “He likes to be around kids. To me, that’s number one. Negotiations have been non-adversarial, he visits buildings and classrooms, he wants a high quality staff, and he is striving to improve the buildings. Are we getting what we wanted? He has brought this board together.”

McClure said he had done some research regarding salaries of area superintendents and found the difference between the top four schools in enrollment (of which H-W is one). The difference between the low and high was $19,000. He cut it in half (because H-W also falls in the middle) and suggested an increase of $9,000, making Carver’s salary go from $129,000 per year to $138,000.

Board member James Kitchen agreed with the amount but was concerned it was a higher percentage increase [nearly seven percent] compared with the district-wide increase of about [3.82] percent for teachers, clerical, custodial and administration. He was concerned it would cause problems in the future. Fortune commented the board would face that in the years to come.

Director Doug Berg pointed out the district has spent less money on attorney bills under the leadership of Carver. Kitchen piped up in the last year only $6,160 has been spent on legal fees compared with $49,950 from the fiscal year ending 2012. [Those numbers are in comparison with the ending balance in 2011 of $36,690, in 2010 of $15,670 and 2009 of $8,740.]

After the $9,000 raise was approved, Carver responded, “I believe we are moving in a good direction. This first year has been a year to establish a base line, and I do feel very strongly that you five gentlemen (including director Duane Bodermann) set the direction of the district. I am blessed to be working here.”

He added he felt all teachers should also be given a raise on their performance not by putting in their time.

The next board meeting will be right after the start of the next school year on Monday, Aug. 26 at the high school media center.

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