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NH approves ‘historic’ pay raises

NH approves ‘historic’ pay raises NH approves ‘historic’ pay raises
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

“Historic” was the term North Harrison Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Lance Richards used at the board meeting last week to describe the recent raise given to staff, stating he believed it was the largest raise the corporation has ever been able to give across the board.

Each staff member at the corporation, as well as bus drivers, will see a difference in their paychecks beginning with the new calendar year.

After receiving a unanimous approval from the board on the teacher contract agreement, educators — based on experience and education level — will see as much as a 13% raise, with the least being about 8%. Starting teachers with no prior experience will now begin at a $40,000 salary.

This contract agreement between the board and the teachers association also pertains to the 2022-23 school year. During that contract year, certified employees will have $2,000 added to their base salary and new hires will receive a starting salary of $41,000.

Also receiving a unanimous approval vote was to give the bus drivers within the corporation a raise of $11 per day. Richards noted this number was chosen as to give the top daily rate for a driver at an even $90.

Non-certified staff also will see a raise of $1.50 per hour, as approved by the board.

The only vote to raise salaries that was not met with a unanimous decision was regarding administrator pay. The vote was 4-1 to amend the administrative contracts in order to give administrators the same increases as provided in the contract to certified personnel.

Board member Eric Stroud was the opposing vote. He read a prepared statement to address his decision to vote against the administrator contract at the meeting, stating he fully supports and is proud of everyone at the corporation.

“This vote does not mean I do not appreciate every one of our administrators,” Stroud said. “A lack of knowing the process and not having pertinent information that I feel I should have received prior to a vote made my decision.”

Board member Steve Hanger shared that his decision to give the administrators a raise was in part because of the number of extra days and hours they put in throughout the year.

“I can remember a number of years as a teacher that we never got a dime as a raise,” Hanger said. “We have an opportunity this year, and I want to give everyone a raise if we can. In my heart, we did the best we could with the funds we had available.”

Board president Marla Adams, who was attending the meeting virtually, shared that she was very pleased with the corporation’s ability to allocate a raise to everyone involved.

Board members Kristina Gunter and Kerry Ingle both shared their joy of completing the contracts as well.

In other business at Thursday evening’s meeting, the board approved the following appointments: Andrea Tarr as North Harrison Elementary School instructional assistant; Kohana Wilks, Coleman Biddle, Deann Turner and Dusty Rhodes, volunteer wrestling coaches; and Mark Lamar, North Harrison High School girls’ softball head coach.

The board will meet again Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in the North Harrison Middle School cafeteria in Ramsey.