Ad Spot

MPS prepares to pay top-dollar for new superintendent

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Oct. 31, 2003
A professional hired to assist the Meridian Public School Board with finding a new superintendent told board members Thursday they should prepare to offer candidates more money for the job.
Richard Boyd, head of the Center for Educational Leadership Services, told board members the superintendent should earn an annual salary of at least $125,000 about $22,000 more than what the job currently pays.
Boyd's firm was hired by the school board in May to assist in finding a new superintendent, months after Janet McLin announced her retirement. Boyd served as the state superintendent of education from 1984 to 1989 and again in 1998.
Sylvia Autry was named interim superintendent June 30. Autry has said she plans to retire at the end of her one-year term.
Autry earns $103,000 a year the same as McLin.
Boyd used a salary survey taken from Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana to boost his claim that the superintendent's pay be raised.
In the 2002-2003 school year, the superintendent of the Hattiesburg School District, which has an enrollment of 2,000 less students than Meridian Public Schools, made $141,120.
In Arkansas, the superintendent of the Bentonville School District, which is about the same size as the Meridian School District, made $148,245. Boyd said the board should decide what it is willing to offer a potential superintendent before the search officially begins.
School Board President Fred Wile said the board is prepared to pay more for the next superintendent.
Wile said the next step in the search for a new superintendent will come in January when the district will begin advertising for the job.
Meridian Public Schools held Parent/Teacher Conference Day Monday to give parents a chance to pick up their child's report cards. Out of 6,898 students enrolled in MPS, 5,142 parents, or 75 percent, visited their child's school. Here is a look at the percentage of parents that came to each school.
Crestwood Elementary 93 percent
Harris Upper Elementary 69 percent
Oakland Heights Elementary 85 percent
Parkview Elementary 80 percent
Poplar Springs Elementary 91 percent
West End Elementary 73 percent
West Hills Elementary 83 percent
Witherspoon Elementary 68 percent
Carver Middle 85 percent
Magnolia Middle 74 percent
Kate Griffin Junior High 58 percent
Northwest Junior High 63 percent
Meridian High 64 percent
Marion Park Alternative School 31 percent