Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 20, 2013

Smith salary above norm

MT. VERNON – Mt. Vernon Township High School Superintendent Michael Smith’s new annual salary of $161,236 is higher than most administrator salaries in the region.

Even so, school officials stand by their decision to compensate Smith in this manner, considering his job performance and MVTHS’ standing as one of the largest high schools in Southern Illinois.

“We feel like he’s done very well meeting the board goals we’ve set for him,” said Karen Goodwine, vice president of the MVTHS Board of Education.

Smith’s new five-year contract, approved in June, has drawn controversy after former MVTHS Board member Greg Backes cited the document as one of the reasons he chose to resign Monday.

Backes and fellow board member Jon Hawthorne stepped down, citing ethical differences as their primary motivation for doing so. Both have expressed concern about the process by which Smith’s contract was approved.

Smith’s salary was increased by 2.75 percent in the new contract – from $156,921 to $161,236. His salary in 2011-2012 was $152,350. Smith is one of the highest paid superintendents in this region when looking at other school districts of similar size. MVTHS has a student population of 1,311.

The Illinois State Board of Education lists superintendent annual salaries for the 2012 school year. High school districts have a superintendent who is responsible for ninth through 12th grade facilities; unit school district superintendents oversee facilities which include students from kindergarten through 12th grade — with higher student populations and, in many instances, more buildings.

n Carbondale Community High School District 165, which has 1,107 students, paid its superintendent $135,000;

n Marion Community Unit School District 2, which has a district student population of 4,007, paid its superintendent $112,211;

n Harrisburg Community Unit School District 3, which has a district student population of 2,178, paid its superintendent $112,746;

n Collinsville Community Unit School District 10, which has a unit student population of 6,645, paid its superintendent $149,006;

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