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Scituate superintendent, school finance director receive 2.5% raises

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 16, 2013 04:05 PM

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Two of the Scituate Public Schools’ top administrators have received a 2.5 percent salary boost thanks to a vote from Scituate’s School Committee.

Superintendent John McCarthy and Director of Business and Finance Paul Donlan received the increases, bringing their salaries to $179,375 and $109,828, respectively.

According to School Committee Chairman Richard Hebert, the business director hadn’t received a raise in several years.

“We felt he was deserving of that [increase],” Hebert said of Donlan’s raise.

As for the superintendent, his raise was based off new evaluation criteria that gave the top school official high marks for making headway with ambitious goals.

“Mr. McCarthy … made outstanding progress in accomplishing much of what he had hoped to accomplish. Setting high standards and goals and not quite reaching all of them is far better than completing lesser easily attainable goals,” the evaluation stated.

The evaluation, completed by Hebert along with feedback from every member of the School Committee, also gave the superintendent high marks for stepping into the role and immediately needing to negotiate the contracts of every bargaining group in the system, bargaining with teachers over the new state evaluation system (with which he was also evaluated), developed a visioning process, and attended numerous school events.

“During the superintendent search and hiring process, we told Mr. McCarthy that we were looking for an educational leader, not just a manager. We believe Mr. McCarthy is that leader, and he has had an excellent first year,” the evaluation says.

The superintendent’s contract allows for an increase of no more than three percent, Hebert said.

The increases come at the tail end of many other contractual decisions made within the school system over the last two years.

According to Donlan, all six school unions, including teachers, received a one percent, 1.5 percent, and 1.5 percent increases starting in FY13 through FY15.

The only remaining contract to be negotiated is with school administrators.

Hebert said the School Committee authorized McCarthy to distribute raises at his discretion, with the understanding that the total salary amount for all school administrators cannot increase more than two percent.

Overall, Hebert said the contract negotiation process and salary discussions were “fiscally responsible,” noting that he excused himself from a discussion on teacher salaries given that his wife is a teacher.

“It wasn’t outrageously exorbitant,” Hebert said of the salary increases. “But of course it will always be a struggle to make sure the budget works.”

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