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Candidate Salaries Already Top $120-thousand

Updated: Wednesday, December 11 2013, 12:30 PM CST

When you look down the halls of Lanphier High School, the mission is clear. We must educate our students, but who is best suited to do the job and what they should earn to do so is up for debate.

"Our group has always been eager to have someone who is really dedicated to educating all children in our community," Katharine Eastvold said.

One vote kept Eastvold from a spot on the school board. Now she's part a group called Invest in 186. They aren't the only ones closely watching to see what happens at 1900 West Monroe.

"As a community we should attempt to make as much savings as we can on those salaries," former District 186 school board president Bill Looby said.

Superintendent salaries often leave the community with a bit of sticker shock. When Dr. Walter Milton, Jr. left District 186 schools was earning $220-thousand. Both of the new candidates are each already earning more than a hundred thousand dollars. Jennifer Gill is earning $128-thousand (click here). Dr. Michael Popp $152-thousand (click here).

"I think they're all inflated to be completely honest," Looby said of school administrative salaries.

With that said he also understands quality comes at a cost and equates a superintendent to a CEO.

"It's a difficult decision because you have to weigh competing and being able to bring somebody in," Looby said.

Because the pay difference between the average educator and the person who'll be their new boss is so significant. We asked one what they thought of the pay.

"I think the best people to make that decision are the ones that we have elected that
serve on the board of education," Lanphier High School post-secondary coach Steve Rambach said.

School board vice president Adam Lopez tells us salary wasn't a factor as the board narrowed down candidates this past weekend. He couldn't tell us for certain, but he thinks the new superintendent will probably not make as much as the last. The open candidates forum is Wednesday 5:30 p.m. inside the Grant Middle School gym.

Candidate Salaries Already Top $120-thousand

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