Thursday, March 18, 2010

Most Administrators Saw Increase in Salary and/or Benefits

The MSD Decatur Township has finally filed is form 100R with the State Board of Accounts (see my post "MSD Decatur School Administration Breaking Yet Another Law") and it reveals that with two exceptions, Administrators saw an across the board increase in salary and/or benefits this school year, compared with last.

The two exceptions are Kathleen Rogers (Central Office, Director of Child Nutrition) whose salary dropped almost $7000 to $85,933, and Scott Opsahl who switched from being a Principal to being back to the classroom as a teacher of Special Education and lost almost $35,000 in the process to $80,416.

Of note for those not in Administrative positions is Timothy Able who dropped just over $12,000 in salary with the loss of the head football coach position to $81,033. As we all know, he was replaced with the grandson of School Board member, Don Huffman. Justin Dixson now makes $49,343. Two others were promoted to quasi-administrative jobs with boosts in salary. Those are : Sheila Estes-Corbin who gained over $16,000 in a move from teacher to Building Director and now makes $87,000 -- Susan Strube who gained almost $8,700 with the same promotion and now also makes $87,000.

The biggest Administrative gains in salary were given to:

Debbie Sullivan (Central Office) whose salary increased $14,498 to $150,525
Jeff Baer (Central Office) whose salary increased $4442 to $140,469
Nan Wiseman (VM Principal and transitional LW Principal) whose salary increased $3390 to $116,434
Robert Kehrein (SD Principal) whose salary increased $2559 to $116,434

By the way, Jeff Baer's replacement, Bob Harris, makes $128,927. The Mooresville-Decatur Times quoted Superintendent Don Stinson as saying Harris would make $15,000 less than Baer. Obviously the difference is more like $11,500.

The rest of the Administrator salaries rose by about $1450. I am told by a confidential source that this is due to the increased cost of the cadillac family health insurance plan. Administrators get a better deal on health insurance than even getting it for free. Their benefits allow them to take advantage of a loophole in the State Teacher Retirement Program. To my eye it is somewhere between working the system and scamming the system. It is perfectly legal - but it is a loophole that allows an artificial inflation of salary for the calculation of yearly pension income and a loophole I would hope that somebody at the State level would close.

It goes something like this -- each Administrator gets enough cash to pay for the cadillac family health plan - about $20,000 a year. They can then opt to buy that plan or any lesser plan. If they opt to by the cadillac family health plan, then the money flows through their salary and the inflated number (roughly 15-20% higher than actual salary) is used when they retire to calculate the amount of money they will get in a pension. If they opt to buy a lesser plan, or no plan at all, they pocket the difference and that Administrator gets both an inflated salary for pension purposes AND a higher salary.

Two examples -- Both Jeff and Candace Baer work for the same employer, of course, and between them need only one cadillac family health plan. Therefore one of them gets to pocket about $20,000 in cash while the other pays for the health plan. Don Stinson is single, so he needs to buy only the cadillac single health plan and pockets about $12,000.

I don't know the family and health insurance details of each Administrator, so I will list their names and salaries below - but each got an increase in cash and/or benefits of roughly $1450 this year as compared with last.

Susan Adams (Central Office, $113,941)
Mark Anderson (Principal, $133,074)
Ron Brothers (Athletic Director, $95,032)
Susan Bryant (Principal, $116,434)
Anna Cook (Central Office, $105,897)
Lisa Cook (Central Office, $90,311)
Nathan Davis (Assistant Principal, $101,491)
Christina Duzenbery (Assistant Principal, $110,291)
Sandra Feeley (Assistant Principal, $102,343)
Jeff Harvey (Principal, $116,434)
Patricia Jones (Central Office, $134,024)
Janet Larch (Principal, $121,516)
Kelly McWilliams (Assistant Principal, $114,150)
Jill Meerman (Assistant Athletic Director, $92,675)
Candace Milhon-Baer (Central Office, $128,680)
Rose O'Brien (Transportation, $80,550)
Douglas Opel (Athletic Director, $107,838)
Gary Pellico (Central Office, $130,180)
John Pietrzak (Principal, $116,434)
Joseph Preda (Principal, $136,469)
Dave Rather (Central Office, $140,468)
Wes Sanders (Central Office, $115,101)
Don Stinson (Superintendent, $221,933)
Catherine Tooley (Assistant Principal, $108,190)
Thomas Wachnicki (Assistant Principal, $110,291)
Thomas Whitfield (Assistant Principal, $107,838)
Lillian Youngblood (Central Office, $115,216)

So much for claims that no Administrators received a raise this year.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm shaking my head in disbelief. After hearing about the Pink Slip ordeal and others, I can't believe this is really happening. Time for new School Board members! This is absolutely shameful.

Anonymous said...

OMG. I can't believe this. I heard rumours but now that it's in black and white...

I agree with a poster in another topic about a town-hall style meeting. This administration needs to answer questions! I think we all need to demand a town hall style meeting BEFORE the next school board meeting so they can answer questions face to face!

Town hall meeting!

Anonymous said...

According to the Teacher Retirement Fund website, the district will start paying a cost of 7.5% instead of 7% on these salaries and benefits. The health insurance benefit alone will cost the district $1350 (7.5% of $18,000)per year for the administrators. This 7.5% would not have to be paid on their health insurance if it were not included in their earnings for retirement. Just a fact. The state needs to clean up a lot of things but the school board should not be doing these things to rob the taxpayers. It makes all educators look bad when only a few districts are doing this type of twisting and turning. No wonder the board and superintendent get mad when these facts are placed on this blog.

Anonymous said...

i aggre about townhall meeting. does anyone know how to get school board to have a town hall meeting?

The Truth said...

53% of the township's children live in poverty and.....



The fleecing continues.



There's not going to be a town-hall meeting. The administration and the board couldn't care less what the residents and parents think.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:16....You're letting them get away with it. No one goes to meetings and you keep electing these idiots to the board.....

Anonymous said...

http://decatur.central.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtmlpageid=116971&&sessionid=56265cafdc3ab7024deb96c0c17b00f2


A Q/A session of the last Decatur Education Association meeting of teachers

Anonymous said...

? Maybe instead of town hall meeting with the board it might be more beneficial to make an appointment and go meet with the teacher retirement fund and ask for some answers - not that Stinson and the board have done anything illegal but just to make everyone aware of what is going on in Decatur township?????? Very few people admit fraud.

Anonymous said...

http://decatur.central.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=116971&&sessionid=56265cafdc3ab7024deb96c0c17b00f2

Let's try that again

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:43: Sure; that's the teachers Q & A session; been posted before. How about parents/taxpayers/US question and answers? Thats where a town hall meeting where they would have to answer our questions would be great.

Anonymous said...

The grand total of the listed salaries is... $2,966,801.00

Anonymous said...

The Superintendent of Public Instruction can be reached at tbennett@doe.in.gov or 317-232-6665
He might like to discuss this information. If he can't meet he might have someone who can. Maybe Leslie Olson from Channel 8 could meet.

Anonymous said...

Are the numbers before or after the pay cut they took already?

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia


Decatur Township was home to 27,881 residents in 2008.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is sad. Even more sad is that some teachers don't want to retire. They don't work just for the money. Their very best friends are the people they work with. For some the school is the only family they have. They always wanted to be teachers and they still want to work with kids every day. They are kind and caring. Some have not had to miss a day of work in years. They have not asked for more money. They just want respect from administrators and students and parents. They don't have to work for the money but they do have to work to be happy.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 2:02 - these are the salaries for the school year 2009-2010. The cuts are to begin in the school year 2010-2011.

Anonymous said...

Looks like very expensive reinvention. Character development may be cheaper - particularly if it is top-down.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:43: The link worked correctly.

Did anyone notice Idea #69 Classrooms with windows – don’t use lights. Restrict students & staff to one restroom visit per day.

That is crazy!

Anonymous said...

If the school board would just simply have one question and answer session that would solve
A LOT! I just want to make sure they are not collected overtime for it!

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Does the data you have allow us to know how much Harris was paid in Perry Township?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 3:31 - Sorry, but I do not have that information. I only requested the form 100R for Decatur Township Schools.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to have an audit by the attorney general's office, to see just how many laws have been broken. The insurance deal also will help their social security.

Anonymous said...

What year was Mr. Stinson hired?
100% vesting in the VEBA account comes after 20 years in Decatur.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 4:35 - perhaps you can tell me how VEBA meshes with the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund.

He was hired in 2000, I think. His current contract mentions that part of his benefits include additional years service to be purchased by the Board. It lists the following - in each of 2006, 2007, and 2008, they buy 1 year of service. In each of 2009 and 2010 they buy 2 years - adding a total of 7 years. I don't have any information if he had extra years pruchased prior to 2006.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 4:35 -- And, don't forget he was Superintendent over in Mill Creek before coming here. For how many years, I don't remember.

Anonymous said...

AND THE TEACHERS ARE BEING ASKED TO TAKE A 5% PAY CUT?????????????

Anonymous said...

Don't think VEBA meshes with the teachers retirement fund pension or annuity. It is in addition to those and Decatur administrators were immediately vested when it was started several years ago.

Anonymous said...

WHAT immediate vesting....I think that is against IRS rules, they govern 401a accounts. How can we find out if administrators were immediately vested? Freedom of information? I cannot ask as my spouse works for Decatur.

Anonymous said...

So glad they got a raise before they got a cut....teachers did not get a raise and still may get a cut

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 5:38 - can you please explain VEBA to us. I remember the initials, but nothing else.

Anonymous said...

All of you people need to contact Jerry Springer..... your worthy of it!!!!!

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 5:49 - I, too, have thought of the rules governing corporations and the requirement they stay within certain parameters when offering 401Ks to their employees. I just don't know if those laws apply to governmental units. Often government is allowed to operate differently. If anyone knows, please add your comments.

Anonymous said...

Voluntary Employee Benefit Account
The district "gives" the employee money each month toward payment of medical expenses after retirement. These accounts were started when employers no longer contributed to employees health care after retirement. In decatur the vesting schedule is 10 yrs service IN DECATUR 33% of account, 15 years service IN DECATUR 66% of account, 20 years service IN DECATUR 100% vested. If administrators were immediately vested I am pretty sure that is against the law. If they are then the same should be for all employees. A tax lawyer would know the specifics. This type acct came about around the same time as 401 k accounts. All under IRS regulations.

Anonymous said...

In Indiana teachers are not government employees...thus PERF, Public Employees Retirement Fund and TRF, Teacher Retirement Fund. VEBA accounts cannot give favortism to the highest paid employees or employees who own a certain percentage of the company. The same is for all employees. (I think this is correct) Are there any tax experts out there?

Anonymous said...

Where is Mr. Webster???

I would love to know his thoughts on his friends at the CO getting all this money. No wonder negotiations were halted in the fall 2009, there was no money left after the Admin got their raises.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 6:16 and 6:21 - thanks !

Anonymous said...

Under Article VI, Section 3 VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Association. The Decatur negotiated agreement states: "Bargaining unit members will become vested in this program upon attaining the age of 55 and qualifying for retirement benefits under the provisions of the Indiana State Teachers Retirement Fund." It also states that the amount to be paid by the school district is to be 1% of the teacher's salary in 2007-08 and increases to 1.5% in the 2010-11 school year.

Since this refers to bargaining unit employees and administrators are not bargaining unit employees I do not know what the administrator benefit is.?????????

Anonymous said...

Wow....un-believeable. Stinson and his cake-eaters strike again while laying off teachers and squeezing the livelihood out of our bus-drivers. Ali-Baba and the 40 Administrators.

No doubt Stinson's favorite shill, Coach Webster, will be by soon to encourage all of us to drink Stinson's Kool-Aid and vote to referendum even more of our kids' money through Stinson's hands. RIIIIIIGHT!!! Don't expect me to join Baer, Henson, Webster and Susan Adams in their Kool-Aid conga line, while our dj, Diamond Don, picks the tune we dance to.

Just say no to the Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

Besides Jerry Springer, you can e-mail Rush Limbaugh at EIRushbo@eibnet.com

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Stinson only makes $189,000 a year and is giving up 15%, then why does this say?

"39.What exactly is Mr. Stinson giving up?

$45,000.00"
http://decatur.central.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=116971&&sessionid=56265cafdc3ab7024deb96c0c17b00f2

If he is giving up $45,000 (15%) then he is making $300,000 a year or is my math wrong?

Anonymous said...

One of the 62 riffed teachers could write a book - nonfiction. It would be on the bestseller list. Dr. Bennett or Mitch or Phil Webster might contribute the preface.

Anonymous said...

This is to Anonymous at 6:05
The correct use is you're not your.
This person suggested people call Jerry Springer, "your worthy of it."
You need to use the contraction you're for you are worthy of it.
While I'm at it, Phil Webster, you are a teacher! Clean up your comments with capitalization and punctuation. Spelling correctly would also help. No wonder people criticize teachers! Esther Smith would roll over in her grave if she read your comments.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:00 pm
I am so happy you wrote that. I was just getting ready to write something very similar. I find it difficult to take one seriously if his or her post is full of grammar and spelling errors. Hit a shift key for capitalization; it isn't that tough.

That being said, I do find some of the comments on here ridiculous and laughable. There are patrons who are making valid arguments but I feel those are overshadowed by those who compare the township to Nazi Germany or keep referring to the administration as cake eaters. Additionally, all of the childish name calling is reminiscent of a high school slam book or a facebook battle. Again, I wish more people with valid points would post rather than those who remind me of a group of middle school girls.

Anonymous said...

Stinson has the School Board in his back pocket for personal use. He'll help himself by ripping off the Taxpayers in Decatur Township. Stinson makes sure his buddies are in good hands. The Students and Teachers are the ones who suffer from the trash that the School Board and Stinson have made.

Anonymous said...

$2,966,801.00 Yearly for administrator salaries....


27,881 residents in 2008....


That comes to $1,064.04 a year from each resident to cover administrator salaries.


And, to summarize...$88.67 a month.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 8:00 pm and anon 9:07 pm - I am going to overrule you on this one. I want everyone to be able to communicate their thoughts. How they do it is how they do it. This is not a test to be passed, but the effort of many people to pass on information about the School District. As for name-calling, I'm surprised that cake-eater is the worst epithet, given the number of jobs on the line and the frustration and anger many people feel.

So, please encourage the substance over the style. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Just a little fact for comparison. Mitch Daniels' salary is only $95,000/yr. to run the entire state and we're paying Don Stinson over $200,000? What's wrong with this? Granted, Mitch gets a house and other considerations but how much difference in responsibilities between the two? Both are state jobs. This figure from the state of Indiana website.

Anonymous said...

Nazi is over thr top, but cake-eater is valid due to all the catered dinners.

How to get a town hall meeting? start a petition and publish it in the paper.

Anonymous said...

Someone start it and I have no problem signing it! How many signatures would it need?

Anonymous said...

The adminstrator fat cats are getting another raise. Hope they enjoy their catered-in dinners at our expense, and their $90,000 a year admin secretaries bringing them coffee each morning. Our fiscal watch-dog, Susan Adams, in her endless crusade to eliminate waste and inefficiency in the district, has decreed that our $10 an hour custodians will no longer get a paid half-hour lunch break. This means that the custodians must now work 8-and-a-half hour shifts. Lord knows we don't need to be paying them to have lunch. Not on the salary we pay them. That extra money is needed for Dr Baer's health insurance package and other fat cat perks, you know. I hope that the Dragon Lady, Dr. Baer and their cake-eater con-artist admin pals don't choke on their food during their 2-hour lunches at Squealer's down in Mooresville each day. Wonder who's expense account they charge their food to??? You know the tax-payers are footing the bill.

Anonymous said...

The person who does not like the reference to Nazi must not be an employee in the district.

Anonymous said...

I am an employee. And I have read the Diary of Anne Frank and the Hiding Place. By calling these small-town biddies Nazis, you give them more importance than they deserve and minimize the true evil that murdered more than 6 million people.

They won't be defeated by an army. They will be defeated by dedicated parents, teachers and community members.

Anonymous said...

Stinson carries around John/Jane Q Taxypayer's debit card and pay for his Buddies meals and trips. When Taxpayer's account is empty, Stinson goes around and shakes down the Teachers and Students for every penny he can get.

Anonymous said...

Pat- Thank you for making a place for info to be shared. Unfortunately, MSD Decatur is run by people who insist on taking advantage of the many apathetic people who live in this township (many other school districts as well !). They make a huge deal of planning their "district committees" to include "stakeholders", but they have a planned end to how each committee should and will conclude.
There was a committee formed a couple years ago made up of parents (maybe 2 or 3), teachers (maybe 10 started, 3-4 made it through all 5-6 of the meetings, and about 10 administrators. They had the nerve to call this committee the "Fiscal Responsibility Committee". The idea was to generate ideas on how the district could save money in these hard times. It was essentially showing My Man Mitch that we were attempting to do something to save money. He had this idea that school districts were top heavy and should find ways to cut to get more money into the classrooms (WHAT A CONCEPT !!!!). I give him great credit for coming out and saying this.
Of course our Central Office Administrators formed a committee to show how serious they were , sent their members back to round up ideas, then totally ignored them. Just about every member of this committee came back and suggested cutting ADMINISTRATORS, specifically CO ADMINSTRATORS.
Basically, what happened after 5 or so committee meetings, a couple catered dinners for the entire committee, and plenty of lip service from Dr Baer and Mr. Stinson was NOTHING. People who actually had the patience to stay for the entire length of time the committee met (more than half dropped off) left very angry that they had spent so much time and effort on such a pointless committee.
This was a few years ago when they were told to cut administrators -not just by the committee, but the Governor of the State and they chose to do NOTHING. In fact, they ADDED administrators after that and loaded them up with large raises each year.
And you people wonder why people don't trust you and want to serve on your committees ?????

Anonymous said...

The anger in this school district has very little to do with the money troubles. It may have blown up because of it, but as I read these blogs, and listen to employees of the schools, it's easy to realize that this cancer is much deeper than money. The hipocritical leaders, mistrust, and anger was there way before the budget crisis.
I have such respect for Phil Webster. He has been a great presense in this district for decades and hopefully will be for many years to come, but he needs to realize the anger isn't just about $ and cents. It's about credibility, being honest, and actually caring about people (especially our students !!!!).
No, Mr. Stinson didn't cause the economy to go south, but if he had the respect of this community and his employees, this financial crisis would not rip apart the district like it is.
Phil- if you are reading this- listen to the anger and use your great communication skills and credibility to help this community get back what it has lost.
You will be here long after Mr. Stinson, the Baers, Pellico, Adams, Sullivan,etc etc etc. We need new leaders in CO. They can never regain the credibility they have lost.
Use your gifts to bring employees back, then the community. Our community respects their teachers, bus drivers, cafe , and custodians- they will follow their lead as they are doing now. Your state championship will always be remembered, but this task could be your legacy.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Why in the world, in this depressed economy, would the administrators for any school district in Indiana, be continually awarded raises, while at the same time, cutting back on teaching staff and services to students. For what purpose are such choices being made, by elected school board members? Makes you scratch your head in amazement, and dismay. Thanks for this telling list, HEI.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a good story for the fleecing of America.

Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone to pick up and read the Mooresville Times article about the Decatur school board meeting last Tuesday, March 16. They report that Don Stinson is very upset with the blog and compared it to Jerry Springer, saying that it is full of lies. Why would the State Board of Accounts "lie" about Diamond Don violating state law in purchasing land, letting contracts to vendors, etc. This has been reviewed previously on this blog with links to the actual state documents. The Times reports that Stinson demands that people come and meet with him personally rather than post anonymously on the blog. Fat chance of that. Anyone who attempts that will be intercepted by his Minister of Propaganda, Gary Pellico. When people go to public school board meetings, they are told rudely that they have 5 minutes to talk and neither the board or Stinson will asnwer questions. And yet, the raises for Diamond Don and his fatcat cronies continue to flow. Can't believe the sense of entitlement these people have to our kids' money. Talk about taking candy from a baby!

Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone to pick up and read the Mooresville Times article about the Decatur school board meeting last Tuesday, March 16. They report that Don Stinson is very upset with the blog and compared it to Jerry Springer, saying that it is full of lies. Why would the State Board of Accounts "lie" about Diamond Don violating state law in purchasing land, letting contracts to vendors, etc. This has been reviewed previously on this blog with links to the actual state documents. The Times reports that Stinson demands that people come and meet with him personally rather than post anonymously on the blog. Fat chance of that. Anyone who attempts that will be intercepted by his Minister of Propaganda, Gary Pellico. When people go to public school board meetings, they are told rudely that they have 5 minutes to talk and neither the board or Stinson will asnwer questions. And yet, the raises for Diamond Don and his fatcat cronies continue to flow. Can't believe the sense of entitlement these people have to our kids' money. Talk about taking candy from a baby!

Anonymous said...

On the district website there is a list of questions and answers from the DEA. It says Stinson is giving up 45K.

45,000 = 15%
------ ----
x 100%

15 * 3,000 = 45,000
100 * 3,000 = 300,000

So is Stinson giving up 45,000 out out 300,000?

Anonymous said...

Thank you "DO NOTHING" School Board Members,Fat cat Stinson and Central office crooks. The Students will definitely be left behind due to less Teachers in the school district. While Stinson and Pals in Central Office count their rolls of money, many Students will lose hope on education and dropout. Decatur Township is one of the very lowest rankings schools at the bottom of the scale. Once again THANK YOU, ADMINISTRATORS OF GREED

Anonymous said...

Actually, he is only giving up $5,000.00. Remember they gave him $40,000.00 for an annuity of his choice this year when he signed his new contract.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone on the blog go to the spaghetti dinner? How many showed up? What happened?Did Stinson speak or answer any questions?

Anonymous said...

As a taxpaying citizen and parent in Decatur township what can be done about the astronomical salaries of Don Stinson and his administration? I have attended school board meetings but NONE of the questions raised by patrons are ever answered or addressed!!! Is this the norm? It is so frustrating and discouraging. I realize why some people just "give up" and don't get involved in ALL of THE POLITICS in DECATUR TOWNSHIP! If it wasn't for our AMAZING children and our WONDERFUL teachers in the township I probably "give up' also. Unfortunately, that is not an option for me. I will keep fighting until our students receive the education they deserve and our teachers receive the respect they deserve!

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 2:58 - I think what needs to be done is to keep up the pressure on the Board - whether it be the sky high salaries they are giving or the obvious shortcomings of their meetings or the lack of representation they provide to the community. Two board seats are being challenged in the May 4th election. Changing to new people is imperative to making changes in the caliber of oversight by the Board and its respect for the public and their opinions.

I'm glad you're staying put. This is a great community that has much to offer.