Select School Administrators Receive Hefty Pay Raises

Johnston County School teachers received a one percent supplement increase this year, but a number of central office staff received much higher pay raises.

WTSB News has obtained the salary information of top administrators in Johnston County Schools. Seven high ranking school officials – already at the top of the payroll – received significant pay increases in 2016, averaging a 7.3 percent increase.  Six of the seven officials did not change positions.   None of the pay raises went before the school board for approval.

The pay increases went to:

Patrick Jacobs, Chief Operations Officer, whose salary rose from $121,784.04 to $127,163.40 (+4.4%).

Art Stanley, the Chief Financial Officer, saw his yearly salary rise from $106,613.64 to $111,765.48 (+4.8%).

Chief Academic Officer Rodney Peterson, who was promoted to Area Superintendent, received an 8.5 percent pay increase going from $101,043.60 to $109,612.68.

Chief Personnel Officer Brian Vetrano is in the same position he held a year ago also but saw his salary jump by 8.5 percent, from $100,784.04 to $109,350.12.

Vetrano is being paid slightly more than Fran Riddick, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Services, who now makes $109,041.36 after being given a 8.5 pay increase. Riddick had been paid $100,496.04.

Delores Gill, Elementary Area Supervisor, received a 3.4 percent pay increase going from $94,764. to $97,992.

The largest increase went to Johnston County Schools Public Information Officer Tracey Peedin Jones. Jones received a 13.2 percent pay hike going from $86,540.04 to $97,988.28. In comparison, Stacy Beard, Public Information Officer for the Town of Clayton makes $70,632. Tammy Amaon, Public Information Officer for the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, who also has duties overseeing the sheriff’s dispatchers is paid $56,702. The national average salary of a public information officer is $59,000.

The salary increases to administrators comes in the same fiscal year that Johnston County Commissioners gave Johnston County Schools $55 million or about $1.5 million more money this year than during the 2015-16 budget. Commissioners stipulated $1.9 million this year would have to be used to increase classroom teacher supplements and not be diverted to any other area.

The average salary of a teacher in North Carolina is $47,783 or about $10,000 less than the national average.

Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow told WTSB News he was not responsible for the pay increases. He said the increases were made by former Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom before he retired 10 months ago. “He did that before he left,” Renfrow said referring all questions to Dr. Croom.

A Johnston County School Board member who asked not to be named said they were told the raises were given to the staff because they took on additional duties.

Dr. Renfrow’s salary jumped from $110,660 to $215,022 when he was promoted from deputy superintendent to superintendent in February. His promotion and salary was approved by the school board.

The average salary of a NC school superintendent is about $156,000 before perks, or about $12,000 more than the Governor of NC makes.