School chiefs both get raises
By ANTHONY JAMES
Jul 24, 2012, 17:34
Hancock County's two school superintendents received raises starting this school year, but both still make less than other Coast school leaders.
Rebecca Ladner of the Bay-Waveland School District is the highest paid of Hancock County's two superintendents, receiving $125,000 annually after receiving a $20,000 raise for the 2012-2013 school year.
Kim Stasny, Ladner's predecessor, was paid $120,000 per year before she left to take the superintendent job for the Oxford School District in 2009. Ladner was the assistant superintendent for Bay-Waveland before being named the superintendent.
Ladner was hired at a salary of $110,000 per year, but she said she voluntarily took a $5,000-per-year pay cut for the last two years, bringing her salary down to $105,000 per year. The school board voted to give Ladner the raise as part of a contract renewal, commending the district's improved graduation and attendance rates under her leadership.
Even with the raise, Ladner is paid less than counterparts in city school districts, like Biloxi ($139,000) and Ocean Springs ($131,484).
Alan Dedeaux, superintendent of the Hancock County School District, is one of the lowest paid superintendents on the Coast, but received a $6,000 raise for the 2012-2013 school year, bringing his salary up to $95,000.
The two school districts operate differently in selecting a superintendent. Hancock's superintendent is elected every four years. In 2011, Dedeaux was re-elected with more than 75.7 percent of the vote over former superintendent David Kopf. Bay-Waveland, like many city school districts, hires a superintendent after conducting a search.
In Pass Christian, former superintendent Sue Matheson made more than Hancock County superintendents, bringing home $133,487 per year. Matheson was one of the best paid superintendents in the state. The Pass Christian School District under Matheson's tenure was consistently ranked as one of the best in the state and won numerous awards for academic achievement.
Pass Christian is still seeking a new superintendent. It's unclear if the new superintendent's salary will change.