Roaring Fork School District super declines salary increase |

Roaring Fork School District super declines salary increase

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Judy Haptonstall declined a salary increase, at least for the first year of a two-year contract renewal approved unanimously by the district school board on Wednesday.

Haptonstall opted to remain at an annual salary of $146,265, citing the economic situation and the prospect that teachers and other district employees may also not be receiving raises if the state is unable to increase funding to the district.

“Judy felt that it would not be right for her to get a raise, if teachers and the rest of the people in the district may not realize an increase,” school board member Bill Lamont said Thursday.

Haptonstall, who will be entering her fourth year as superintendent of the RFSD schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, was due for a 2.5 percent salary increase. That would have brought her contract salary up to $150,000.

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The contract also called for another $5,000 increase in the second year. The school board agreed to re-evaluate Haptonstall’s salary and the district’s financial situation after one year.

The contract renewal also signals a vote of confidence from the school board for Haptonstall, who was promoted from assistant superintendent in 2006 to replace retired RFSD Superintendent Fred Wall.

“The fact that we’re one of six districts in Colorado that the state trusts with implementing the Closing the Achievement Gap initiative, I see as a compliment to Judy,” school board President Michael Bair said.

The Colorado Department of Education chose the RFSD and five other school districts for the pilot program, which is aimed at bringing lower-performing students up to par in state standards testing.

“In education, there is so much great stuff out there,” Bair said. “Looking at where we’ve been and where we’re going in this district, it’s apparent we’re doing a lot of things right. And a lot of that has been a result of Judy’s leadership.”

As for the prospect of the district not being able to give teacher pay raises for next year, that’s totally dependent on state funding, RFSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Shannon Pelland said.

“If there’s no funding increase from state, then we can’t increase expenses,” she said. “And 85 percent of the district’s budget is wages and benefits.”

State funding is also tied to enrollment in district schools, which have seen a drop of about 50 students districtwide since January, Pelland said.

“We are concerned what that might mean for next year,” she said.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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