Former FHS principal to get same pay

Published 8:47 am Friday, August 6, 2010

FRANKLIN—Lawrence Whiting isn’t the principal of Franklin High School anymore, but he will make the same $82,247 salary at his new, formerly part-time position in the central office.

Dr. Walter Clemons, assistant superintendent for Franklin City Public Schools, said Thursday that Whiting began serving the division as the new full-time supervisor of food and support services on Aug. 1.

“We were able to make a position that Mr. Whiting could transition into,” Clemons said. “It’s going to be a very busy position.”

Clemons said state law requires that Whiting be paid the same salary for his new job at the central office.

“Whenever you have a person who has served in the capacity of a principal, then give them an additional assignment or a reassignment to a different position after April 15 of any year, you are required to pay them the same salary that they made during the previous year,” Clemons said. “You can’t have a reduction in salary.”

He added that every position is subject to an annual renewal by the school board.

“The board has the ability each and every year to approve any position up here and deem whatever salary is appropriate,” Clemons said.

According to the job description, Whiting will manage food service operations for the division. He also will handle truancy issues and make home visits when needed, work with students and their parents on behavioral problems, and perform the annual division-level inventory. He’ll also be asked to supervise athletic events as necessary.

“When you’re a small school division, people wear multiple hats,” Clemons said. “This is not an all-inclusive list; he’s going to be performing duties as needed.”

Clemons said the food services supervisor position was a part-time job held by Renee Purvis until June 30. Purvis left to work for another school division. He estimated that with benefits, the job used to pay between $30,000 and $40,000.

“We expanded the role because we had some other things that we needed as far as additional services to be provided for the division,” Clemons said. “We ended up adding what would have been another part-time position to it.”

The division announced last month that Whiting would be moving to the central office and that Rodney Berry, the principal at J.P. King Middle School for the past year, would be taking over at Franklin High.

Berry was paid $79,061 last year. A new principal has yet to be hired for J.P. King.

“It’s been going well,” Clemons said of the search for a new principal at the middle school. “We were accepting applications for a couple of weeks and we had quite a bit of interest.”

He said the division was no longer accepting applications and was in the process of screening the job candidates.

“Hopefully we will start interviewing within the next week or so,” Clemons said.