Almost a third of teachers and administrators working in Highland Community School District will make than $75,000 in total compensation this year, according to the district’s annual administrator and teacher salary report.
The district’s Board of Education approved the posting of the compensation report on the district website during its meeting Sept. 26. The report includes a list of salaries and benefits for the full- and part-time teachers and administrators within the district. As of Oct. 1, the list, which includes 222 of the district’s approximate 350 employees, has been available to the public on the district’s website. The list does not include non-certified staff, such as custodians, secretaries, tech and program assistants.
A teacher’s salary largely rests on two components, their level of education and how many years they have taught for the district, said Superintendent Mike Sutton.
“Generally, teachers with higher salaries have more years of teaching experience,” Sutton said. “This teaching experience can be a valuable measure of the quality of instruction.”
Business Manager Tim Bair said 70 percent of the district’s teachers have at least a master’s degree. Also, each year a teacher moves up another “step” on their contract their pay increases. The scale tops out at step 23, and all 55 teachers making more than $75,000 have reached at least the 20th step.
Some teachers also have taken on additional duties to bolster their pay, Sutton said.
“Salary can be impacted by a number of factors,” said Sutton. “Teachers who coach or assume additional responsibilities may receive additional stipends for those positions. Some teachers may seek additional responsibilities, such as supervision, tutoring, or after-school activities.”
The Illinois Report Card for the 2015-2016 school year shows that the average salaries for teachers and administrators in the district were still under the state average. Average salary for teachers statewide was $63,450 for teachers, for administrators it was $103,364, according to last year’s report card. Average pay in Highland was $90,781 for administrators and $57,464 for teachers. The new report card is due out later this month.
Top paid teachers and administrators
Top five highest paid teachers are as follows:
▪ Larry Jones makes $101,159.09. He is the Vocational, Business/Agricultural Department Chair and a Future Farmers of America adviser. He teaches agricultural business operation, diversified co-op, agricultural power mechanics, and all four sections of welding at Highland High School.
▪ Donald Schmitz makes $97,523.29. He is an FFA adviser and teaches agriculture business management, turf and landscaping management, introduction to agriculture, greenhouse management, and two sections of cabinet making at HHS.
▪ Ragina Hirsch makes $93,780.93. She is the head girls golf coach, WYSE biology sponsor, and teaches biology I, anatomy and physiology at HHS.
▪ Lori Ruebhausen makes $92,406.54. At HHS, Ruebhausen teaches chorus, a cappella choir, music theory, musical theater, and A.P. music theory. After school, she directs the Jazz Choir, Onyx Jazz Singers, Madrigal Singers, Chamber Singers, the Coffeehouse Cabaret and the Madrigal Dinner at the high school.
▪ Shelia Gruender makes $92,406.41 as a teacher at Highland Middle School.
Top five highest paid district administrators are as follows:
▪ Superintendent Mike Sutton makes $175,204.90.
▪ District Business Manager Tim Bair makes $144,958.29.
▪ Assistant Superintendent Derek Hacke makes $135,678.38.
▪ HHS Principal Karen Gauen makes $121,198.21.
▪ Director of Maintenance Jeffery Williams makes $116,155.33.
Top five highest paid special education teachers are as follows:
▪ State-approved Director of Special Education Pamela Tyler makes $100,480.
▪ Jacqueline Holt-Mollet makes $91,582.05 and teaches at Highland Primary School.
▪ Connie Sparlin makes $89,235.90 and teaches at Highland Primary School.
▪ Gayla Stirewalt makes $82,714 and teaches at Highland Middle School
▪ Danette Daiber makes $82,482 and teaches at Highland Primary School.