Board member: Us, not superintendent, OKs pay raises

skinney@keynoter.comNovember 13, 2013 

At least one member of the Monroe County School Board takes issue with the manner in which Superintendent Mark Porter adjusted the salaries -- mostly upward -- of a dozen district employees.

District 3 board member Ed Davidson said he planned to "raise hell" at a workshop set to take place after press time Tuesday at Marathon High School.

Davidson maintains that Porter "misled" the board at an Aug. 13 meeting to discuss administrator salaries for the 2013-14 school year.

"It's totally unacceptable," Davidson said. The board "never authorized the changes. Porter doesn't have that authority and he did it without disclosure. The changes should be explained and they should be justified. The School Board should either approve them or say no."

When the issue was first raised by district watchdog Larry Murray, attention was focused only on Christina McPherson, district director of assessment and also Poinciana Elementary School interim principal. He salary went from $95,910 to $106,141.

Board members subsequently directed Porter to list all changes to salaries. Porter expected to present that to the board Tuesday by way of what he calls a "process improvement."

He framed it as a need for "clarity as to the division of responsibility and authority between the School Board and superintendent with regard to compensation."

To avoid something similar from happening again, Porter says he'll post administrator contracts online, bring raises for administrators to the board and "develop a rigorous electronic communication and documented approval process for all changes in employee compensation."

School Board member John Dick said "there aren't really complaints about the value, rather it's about the way it was done."

Besides McPherson, the following administrators had salary adjustments in the summer:

  • Key West High social studies teacher Jennifer Barrios received a raise from $56,433 per year to $64,859.

  • Plantation Key School Assistant Principal Kristy Bedell went from $59,590 to $82,821.

  • Key West High teacher Henry Boza, formerly the Glynn Archer Elementary principal, went from $97,683 to $78,086.

  • Horace O'Bryant Middle School teacher Kristen Condella went from $52,217 to $58,315.

  • Transportation Supervisor Randy Fabal, formerly a teacher, went from $70,932 to $90,894.

  • Coral Shores High Principal Lisa Hayes-Taylor, formerly assistant principal, went from $80,068 to $91,933.

  • Ayesha Osborne moved from the Finance Department earning $36,076 annually to Human Resources for $42,051 per year.

  • Lesley Salinero, formerly exceptional-student education director and Stanley Switlik Elementary principal for $116,000 annually, went back to just ESE at $113,382 per year.

  • Brett Unke moved from HOB assistant principal at $81,612 per year to Switlik principal at $88,610 per year.

  • Steve Vinson went from Poinciana principal at $91,656 per year to HOB assistant principal at $82,995.

  • Jerian Winn moved from being a legal secretary earning $46,566 per year to a human resources specialist earning $54,021.

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