School board approves superintendent raise

Published 11:14 am Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Isle of Wight County School Board voted 3-1 with one absent to award Supt. Dr. Jim Thornton a new four-year contract with a base salary of $155,524 during their June board meeting on Thursday evening. The contract further specifies that Thornton will receive a 2 percent increase in pay for each year and will also receive a $6,500 annuity.

Although the approved contract’s base salary is less than the $163,000 Thornton had initially requested, it still amounts to a 6.9 percent increase from his current base salary of $145,350. The new contract will take effect on July 1 and expire July 1, 2021.

School Board Chairman Alvin Wilson was the dissenting vote, and argued that he would prefer all school employees to receive the same percent raise.

The board also voted unanimously to amend its policy on tuition for out-of-area students to require a flat $4,000 fee regardless of a student’s grade level, but declined to include language that would have prevented the division from accepting any new out-of-area students. As a result, the division will continue to accept out-of-area students during the 2017-2018 school year.

Several board members, and Thornton, suggested the board investigate whether there would be any interest in out-of-area students attending Isle of Wight County Schools to participate in its new in-house career and technical education program.

They also voted to approve new food service contracts, the purchase of 450 new laptops for incoming high school freshmen, and the disposal of surplus equipment.

“We’re part of a consortium of school divisions,” said Lynn Briggs, the division’s director of gifted services, community and media relations. “The consortium bids and we have to follow that. With their bid, they got a better rate.”

The surplus equipment slated for disposal includes some old Dell desktop computers and several iPads purchased in 2012. The iPads have been put out to bid for resale and the division has received several competitive offer