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School Superintendent Awarded $1,380 Merit Payment

School committee approved appointments for summer school, summer sports and remaining fall sports, but final budget remains uncertain.

Stating that he met most of his objectives with flying colors, the North Kingstown School Committee gave Dr. Phil Auger a $1,380 bonus to cap his first year as school superintendent.

Committee member John Boscardin said that he believes in merit pay rather than automatic pay increases. Based on the superintendent's evaluation, conducted in executive session at the June 12 meeting, Boscardin joined a majority of the committee in approving the payment.

In other action, the committee approved Aaron Thomas as Summer Sports Camp Director at a salary of $7,201, funded by an. The committee also approved Erin Bagwell as Middle School Summer School Program Director, with a $3,000 stipend.

Looking ahead to next year, the committee named math teacher Howard Hague to the part-time position of Athletic Director. It also approved 17 part-time high school coaches and seven part-time middle school coaches, including three supported by parent and student fund-raising.

The committee approved most of the consent agenda as submitted, but voted to maintain the existing septic services contractor, Mumford and Sons of North Kingstown, rather than switching to a slightly lower-priced out-of-town vendor.

The committee approved revisions to the school policy on behavioral intervention using physical restraints.

More than a dozen speakers addressed the committee during public comment. Most implored the committee not to outsource food or custodial services, which the committee is considering to balance its budget.

Auger said that further action on the schools' budget depends on a ruling by the arbitrator reviewing a proposed contract with the North Kingstown Education Support Professionals, a final decision on the amount of 2013 state aid, and a recommendation from the Facilities Sub-Committee on whether the school system can tap unused funds remaining from a 2004 bond issue.

NKGOP Watch June 13, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Wow I didnt think this guy was going to think things through or be open minded and after watching him at a few meetings (without my turban, and sitting far in the back so no one would recognize me) and I am impressed with John Boscardin so far. What a nice surprise. "Committee member John Boscardin said that he believes in merit pay rather than automatic pay increases. Based on the superintendent's evaluation, conducted in executive session at the June 12 meeting, Boscardin joined a majority of the committee in approving the payment."
Barbara June 13, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Howie Hague is a great choice for the position of Athletic Director. He has a vested interest in the students and a great deal of enthusiasm. Congrats, Mr. Hague!
Discouraged June 14, 2012 at 03:15 AM
WHAT A JOKE. The school budget is in a financial crisis and we give out bonuses??? How do you justify that?
Discouraged June 14, 2012 at 03:17 AM
The school superintendent should take a pay CUT as well as others to keep this town afloat.
Concerned Resident June 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM
There's always next year for the superintendent to again request the max tax increase from NK residents experiencing difficult time.
Joe Smith June 14, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Stating that he met most of his objectives with flying colors, the North Kingstown School Committee gave Dr. Phil Auger a $1,380 bonus to cap his first year as school superintendent. Dear S/C members -- would you please tell us what the Supt's "objectives" were so we can assess for ourselves? That shouldn't be a difficult question to answer -- as the town's highest paid official, the public should know what you wanted him to achieve.
Dark star June 15, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Good questions Mr. Smith (?). Maybe a SC member will grace us with an explanation/recap of the Superintendents' goals and objectives.....doubt it but we can hope.
Discouraged June 15, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Well, if you believe in merit increases or salary increases during these difficult times when the town is in deep financial crisis, then YOU pay his merit increase out of your own pocket.
Concerned Resident June 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I can only imagine facing people that I have told - I need more funding. I can only imagine facing people that I have told - I need to cut wages / staff. Guess he's a me, me, me, me type of person.
Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Joe: excellent question! Did anyone get an answer yet?
melissa June 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM
hey Dr Auger how about you take a pay cut and reduce your benefits.
Discouraged June 28, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Fully agree. Why dosen't he respond?
Dark star June 29, 2012 at 04:58 AM
email him directly and see if he responds
NK Taxpayer, too July 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM
This comment has two parts (too many words for one blog) We have been in a recession since 2007. Then why is the NK School Committee giving contacts to recently promoted or hired administers that include automatic yearly raises? Dr. Phil Auger 2011-12 $138,000, 2012-13- $140,000 with a $1380 merit increase, 2013-2014 $142,000 with a possible merit increase. Michele Humbyrd 2012-2013 $116,000. Dr. Humbyrd has a three year contact with a 1.4% yearly increase. There are many administers in the NK school departments. Most of these people make six figure salaries. Their contacts probably contain similar language in regard to their pay raises. How can the Superintendent report that the school department has a serious deficit problem, cut student programs and ask for concessions from the lowest paid employees and is not willing to take a cut in his pay or ask his very well paid administers to do the same? Why did most of our school committee members vote to include automatic pay raises (they call them merit raises- money is money) for the administrators during these hard economic times?
NK Taxpayer, too July 03, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The School Committee Members were not fiscally responsible and very unwise to guarantee any type of salary increase during this recession (especially to employees making over $100,000). How very deceitful to the school department employees and the town’s taxpayers to lead them to believe that painful cuts affecting our students and major concession from school employees (including firing all the custodial staff and hiring an out-of-state janitorial company that has been found to have been negligent in hiring illegal immigrants and workers with felony records) must be made to balance the budget.
NK Taxpayer, too July 08, 2012 at 04:26 PM
NKSD administration salaries. I’ve just research a few of them. Dr. Auger makes more than our top RI Officials. Here’s how much Rhode Island’s quintet of top officials will make next year: • Governor: $129,210 • Attorney General: $115,610 • Lt. Governor: $108,808 • Secretary of State: $108,808 • General Treasurer: $108,808 • Dr. Phil Auger 2011-12 $138,000, 2012-13- $140,000 with a $1380 merit increase, 2013-2014 $142,000 with a possible merit increase. • Michele Humbyrd 2012-2013 $116,000. Dr. Humbyrd has a three year contact with a 1.4% yearly increase. • Patricia Pezzullo Director of Pupil Personel $110,000 effective 7/30/12. • Mary King Director of Administrative Service $110,000 Hired this spring.
NKGOP Watch July 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Guys, I AGREE that our government, local state and federal have overpaid employees relative to the private sector. But when you pick on one town's superintendent salary for example, NK could NEVER just arbitrarily lower that, because basically ALL the other towns in RI/MASS/CT pay a certain wage level for that position, we would never find a qualified candidate! Same for the other positions, these are specialized jobs and knowlege of school operations, laws, regulations, isnt something someone can learn on the job very fast, so if the SC hired a person who was NOT experienced, for a lower salary, then we'd be reading a hue and cry (from you same people) about how they hired an "incompetent". Market rate for each of these jobs is too high, but it is what it is and all the school systems generally pay around the same. Many of these positions are required by law as well.
NK Taxpayer, too July 08, 2012 at 05:31 PM
@nkgop Watch Did you just write "we would never find a qualified candidate?" Hello- there's a recession going on. There are many candidates with similar or better qualifications who would take a lower starting salary and maybe would agree to prove their ability to lead a school district before they received an automatic yearly salary increase built in their contract.
Discouraged July 09, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Excellent comment ! You are 100% correct. Our school superintendent making more than the top RI government officials is totally mind boggling. NK is a small town as compared to other much larger cities. Way out of proportion. We should combine some of RI's small towns (maybe by county) and hire one superintendent to handle a few towns.
Discouraged July 09, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I think you are living in a dream world. So you're saying we're wrong to pay such high salaries, but, we must do because other cities do. I suggest you look at other rural small towns of NK's size and see what they pay in other states.
Dark star July 09, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Excellent idea. Rhode Island has approx. 143,000 students schools and 38 superintendents. Fairfax county Virginia has 159,000 students and ONE superintendent. This state is run by unions. We all are doomed.
Discouraged July 10, 2012 at 03:07 AM
WOW !! 159,000 students and one superintendent. Now that's efficiency. How do our highly paid employees explain that? And, yes, NK's taxes will go up and up and up every year to support these unions. Changes must be made NOW !! NK is focussing all it's efforts in spending money rather than attaracting businesses to increase its tax base.

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