Raises granted to several IW school administrators

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019



Several Isle of Wight County Schools central office administrators received $10,000-plus raises at the beginning of 2019, despite assurances from the school division at the start of the 2018-2019 school year that its new administrative pay scale — which specified significantly higher minimum salaries for principals and some central office positions — would apply only to new hires.

The county school board had adopted the revised pay scale in June 2018, which specified that the minimum pay for assistant directors was to rise from $57,254 to $69,000. For coordinators, the minimum rose from $63,197 to $75,000; for directors, from $69,758 to $95,000; and for executive directors, from $76,999 to $105,000. The minimum assistant superintendent salary also increased from $80,898 to $115,000.

IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs had told The Tidewater News at the time that since the revised pay scale applied only to new hires, it would not translate into raises for employees already in the aforementioned positions. This appears to have indeed been the case for the first half of the 2018-2019 school year.

But then, on Dec. 13, 2018, the school board voted unanimously to approve what was listed on the agenda for that evening as “administrative scale adjustments,” after discussing the matter in closed session. In a video recording of that meeting’s open session component, which is published on Isle of Wight County’s website in the county’s on-demand meeting video archives, Smithfield District school board member Kirstin Cook refers to the matter as a “two-step” process that had begun that June with the revision of the administrative pay scale.

The closed session had been the result of a request from Carrsville District school board member Jackie Carr, who said she still had questions for the division’s executive director of budget and finance, Rachel Trollinger, regarding “last-minute numbers.” Windsor District school board member Julia Perkins also expressed hesitation in voting on the matter that evening. School Board Chairwoman Vicky Hulick then informs Carr that her questions would need to be addressed in a closed session because the matter pertains to “specific people.”

As a result of the school board’s vote that evening, Trollinger and at least four other central office administrators, two of whom were already making six figures, received amended employment contracts on Jan. 4, 2019, retroactive to Jan. 1, with raises ranging from $10,937 to $14,940.

The Dec. 13, 2018, school board meeting had been held on the same day as the December meeting for Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors, which had been rescheduled one week earlier than its typical meeting date, owing to the Christmas holiday. The Tidewater News, as a result of this overlap, had sent this reporter to the Supervisors meeting that evening. The newspaper later learned of the $10,000-plus raises after a Smithfield resident had brought the matter up in comments made during citizens’ time at the school board’s meeting on Oct. 10, 2019.