The Sampson County Board of Education gave superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker a major vote of confidence earlier this week when they inked a deal keeping him at the helm of the system for the next four years.
At a special called meeting Monday, the Board of Education voted unanimously to extend Lenker’s contract as superintendent. The move came after a brief closed session.
Included in the four-year contract will be a bump in salary for the superintendent. Lenker will be paid $133,600 a year, up from $123,600 in his last contract. However, according to board chairman G.H. Wilson, the pay is still low for the area.
“There are superintendents in the area that are making upwards of $ $140,000 to 147,000 a year,”the board chairman noted. “The board just felt that it was important to go ahead and get the contract complete and keep him with us. We have been very pleased with the way the system has been going and we wanted to make sure he felt secure in the position.”
According to the N.C. School Boards Association, the base superintendent salaries in surrounding counties for 2011 exceeded what Lenker is being paid. In Duplin County, it was $147,000; in Harnett County it was $142,432; in Wayne County it was $172,367; and it was $192,076 in Johnston County.
By contrast, Clinton City Schools new superintendent Stuart Blount inked a four-year deal with the city system a month ago that will earn him $141, 823 annually, helming a system with just five schools.
Sampson Community College’s Dr. Paul Hutchins signed a deal earlier this year to take the college helm for a salary of $144,876 a year.
“We looked at his (Lenker’s) pay, and if you look at it, he is still below what other areas are paying,” explained Wilson. “For a superintendent with all the schools he is in charge of, his pay is relatively low. We have been happy with his job performance and we wanted to give him an offer that we hoped he would accept. He could have gone anywhere, but he is committed to the kids. He is a good man and we are happy that his position is secured.”
The board also extended contracts for Dr. Wendy Cabral, assistant superintendent for Personnel Services, and Charlotte Murphy, assistant superintendent for Educational and Student Services. Both were for four more years.
According to Finance Officer Dale McLamb, Cabral and Murphy’s salaries were not available.
The board also approved a principal move Monday afternoon. Former Midway Elementary School principal Tonya Colwell will be headed to Roseboro Elementary School, replacing longtime principal Donald Boykin, who recently retired.
Academic coach Jennifer Daniels will replace Colwell at Midway Elementary School.
In addition to the move, the system is still searching for qualified high school math educators. “We need them at Union, Midway and Hobbton high schools,” said Dr. Cabral after the meeting. “We still need to fill an assistant principal slot at Union Elementary and a coordinator spot at the Alternative Program, but other than that, we are doing pretty good on teachers.”
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.