The Richmond Register

July 24, 2013

New county superintendent announcement scheduled Friday

Salary to be commensurate with rank and experience

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — After nearly three months of preparation, searching and collecting input from the community, the Madison County School Board will announce its choice for superintendent Friday.

The announcement will be made at a 1 p.m. special-called meeting at Central Office, 550 S. Keeneland Drive.

Board members chose from three finalists: Matthew Constant, assistant superintendent for Owensboro Public Schools; Robin Steiner, response to intervention coach in Fayette County Schools; and Elmer Thomas, principal of Madison Central High School.

The finalists were whittled down from a pool of 21 by a superintendent screening committee comprised of two teachers, one principal, two parents, one board member and one classified employee.

The screening committee and board considered input from four focus groups and a community survey that received 776 responses.

“We had a consensus; it was an obvious decision for the board,” said board chair Mona Isaacs on Wednesday. “We had good conversation and in the end, everyone’s concerns were addressed and we ended up in a good place.”

The board also took this opportunity to “simplify the contract” that was negotiated with the new superintendent, she said. The compensation package will be announced Friday at the special-called meeting.

Superintendent Tommy Floyd, who left the district at the end of the school year for a position at the Kentucky Department of Education, was making a salary of $168,000 a year, $13,000 of which was fringe benefits.

The board decided to discard many of the additional benefits that had been built into Floyd’s contract, Isaacs said. The new superintendent’s total compensation package will include the same benefits afforded to other district employees.

According to policy, the board may consider “the district’s financial resources, current economic conditions, employee performance and salary data for similar positions at relevant organizations within the region.”

Early on in the preparation process, the board advertised that the position’s salary would be commensurate with rank and experience. The board also looked at salary information from districts in contiguous counties and districts of comparable student populations. Madison County reports a student population of 11,070.

Among contiguous counties, the superintendent in Clark County makes $141,144 a year and is over a district of 5,476 students. In Fayette County, the superintendent makes $248,400 a year and is over a district of 38,260 students.

Among comparable counties, the superintendent in Bullitt County makes $143,000 a year in a district of 12,752 students. In Daviess County, the superintendent makes $145,000 a year in a district of 10,831 students.

“We’re all aware that our economic situation is not perfect right now as we look for ways to save money,” Isaacs said. “But we wanted to pay a fair wage to attract the best candidate and to keep them here and happy in Madison County.”

Isaacs said the process of finding a new superintendent was a good experience for the board.

“I really think the search process has brought us closer together as a team and we realized that we are a whole lot more alike than we are different,” she said.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.