Board members reject plan to increase pay for high-school principals
By Denise Dick
Chaney will have its fifth principal in five years next year after the school board voted not to renew the contract of the woman who has the job.
The board, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Connie Hathorn, voted not to renew the contract of Sharon McDonald-Butler who served as principal this year.
Hathorn also had recommended the board not renew the contract of Jerome Harrell, an assistant principal at East High School, but board members rejected that with members Brenda Kimble, Ronald Shadd, Jerome Williams and Jacqueline Adair opposed and Michael Murphy in favor. Richard Atkinson and Marcia Haire-Ellis were absent.
The votes followed a two-hour executive session Tuesday to discuss personnel.
Hathorn said his recommendations were based on performance. Because she has tenure, McDonald-Butler may return to teaching.
Board members also rejected a resolution to raise the salary scale for high-school building principals.
“Looking at our salary schedule, we increased each step $2,000,” Hathorn said.
He said the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission directed the district to increase principals’ pay to attract high-quality candidates to the district.
The proposed steps, based on both educational attainment and years’ service, ranged from $81,333 annually to $95,436 annually.
Adair said she wanted something in writing from the academic commission, the panel appointed to guide the district out of academic difficulty, stating the district needs to increase principals’ pay.
Before the vote, some members talked of tabling the resolution.
“What’s the point in discussing it?” Murphy said. “I’m not going to vote for it.”
The board also approved two-year contracts for several other principals and administrators including Monica Jones, principal at Youngstown Early College, who will earn $83,446 each year and Michael Flood, principal at Taft Elementary, who will earn $75,219.
McDonald-Butler was hired as Chaney’s principal for this school year.
She replaced S. Diane Rollins who resigned last July, citing personal reasons. Rollins was hired in February 2012. She replaced Richard Gozur, the first principal appointed after the school became a visual and performing arts and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics campus for sixth- through 12th-graders.
Gozur had been appointed at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year but resigned the same year, also citing personal reasons.
Erik Thorson was principal at Chaney during the 2010-2011 school year and was moved to a different post at the end of the school year.