Garfield Re-2 superintendent receives $41,000 raise
Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Heather Grumley’s salary increases to $200,000 starting July 1.
Aiming to bring Grumley’s salary in line with neighboring districts as well as market rate, the Garfield Re-2 School Board on May 25 passed unanimously a $41,000 raise for Grumley. The board is next slated to vote on her contract renewal June 30, 2023.
The original proposal was to increase Grumley’s current salary of $159,685 to $195,661. Board member Tony May, however, proposed raising Grumley’s salary to $200,000, saying it should help keep her — and her institutional knowledge — with the district.
“(Grumley’s) leadership to get us to this point financially is how we were able to take this financial system and apply the maximum amount of pay that we do,” he said.
Earlier this month, the board passed base salary increases for teachers, counselors and academic coaches from the former $36,896 to $43,011. The board also decided to absorb a 6.8% increase to insurance premiums for staff on family plans, which ultimately decreases out-of-pocket-expenses between $300 and $800.
The decision to increase Grumley’s salary comes as the district of 4,600 students is trying to find solutions to its staff turnover rate, which increased from 22% to 28% between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years. The statewide average turnover rate is between 19-20%.
Board members Jason Shoup, Meriya Stickler and Christina Maness initially voiced concerns over whether the increase to Grumley, who’s been with the district the past 28 years, would be negatively received by staff.
“Are we going to cause a wave with other employees in the district?” board member Jason Shoup said. “That’s my only concern.”
Still, all board members agreed Grumley should receive the salary increase not just based on market rate but on what she’s accomplished for the district. They said she kept school doors open and maintained in-person learning, even during surges of COVID-19 cases amongst the student body and staff.
“Not everyone’s cut out for leadership,” Stickler said. “It’s lonely at the top.”
Grumley also helped reestablish financial confidence within the district. Since Grumley took over after Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Brent Curtice’s retirement in March 2022, accounting overages were discovered — findings that would help balance out the books.
Grumley’s salary bump also comes just as Roaring Fork School District finalized a five-year, $220,000 contract with newly hired superintendent Jesús Rodríguez. The 5,647-student district paid former superintendent Rob Stein $167,228 per his contract.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com.
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