Schools chief receives new 4-year pact, pay increase

Haas' leadership ability noted by board member

March 02, 2003|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Jacqueline C. Haas, superintendent of Harford County public schools, has signed a new four-year contract and has been awarded an 8 percent pay raise to $135,000 a year.

The Board of Education voted unanimously at its regular business meeting last week to extend the contract.

The extension was in recognition of Haas' leadership, her ability to focus on what is best for the students and her knowledge of what is occurring in the classroom every day, said Robert S. Magee, vice president of the board.

The new contract marks the start of her second four-year tour as the chief executive of the 40,000-student, 5,000-employee school system, the 125th largest in the country.

Under terms of the contract signed Thursday, Haas will receive annual pay raises at the same percentage of wage increases paid to the school system's administrative and supervisory staff.

When Haas receives her doctoral degree, which she is pursuing at the University of Maryland, her base pay will jump by another $5,000 a year.

She earns an additional $4,880 a year in longevity pay and this will jump another $2,500 annually when she reaches her 30th year of service in three years.

The superintendent's pay raise compares with a 6.5 percent increase in the proposed school operating budget approved by the school board last month.

Haas said that she "was thrilled to have the opportunity to work here in Harford County for another four years."

Over the next four years, Haas said, she would like to work with teachers and office staff to review the school system curriculum and make any necessary changes to improve the learning of students.

She said that in the past the county has not invested a lot of money on research of the school system's curriculum and its instructors. She said she also favors the use of teacher mentors in the classroom to boost the skills of teachers.

"Haas is not the lowest-paid superintendent in the area, but she is well below others in the Baltimore metropolitan area," said Donald R. Morrison, a spokesman for the school system.

Ronald A. Peiffer, assistant state superintendent for academic policy at the Maryland State Department of Education, agreed with Morrison's assessment.

By comparison, he said that Baltimore schools chief Carmen V. Russo has a base salary of $192,000.

In Anne Arundel County, Eric J. Smith earns $197,000 a year, and Baltimore County Superintendent Joe A. Hairston is paid $185,400, he said.

In Cecil County, the superintendent is paid $125,000 a year, and in Carroll County the salary is $120,000, according to Peiffer.

Other provisions of the school board's contract with Haas provide $1,000 a year for vision care, $600 a month to purchase a vehicle and $1,000 a year for automobile insurance.

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