School board president refutes rumor that new superintendent already received raise

photo by: Ashley Hocking/Journal-World File Photo

In this file photo from Jan. 29, 2018, then-newly approved Superintendent Anthony Lewis speaks at the Lawrence school board meeting at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

The president of the Lawrence school board sought Monday to dispel a rumor that the board had given new Superintendent Anthony Lewis a significant raise when approving the 2019 budget.

During her remarks at the opening of Monday’s school board meeting, Board President Jessica Beeson responded to emails that she and other board members received during the weekend, asking why the board had given Superintendent Anthony Lewis a $10,000 raise after a month on the job and increased Deputy Superintendent Anna Stubblefield’s salary by $20,000.

The emails apparently stemmed from a 2018-2019 budget summary that Kathy Johnson, district finance director, included in a July 30 presentation to the board. The summary stated the new superintendent contract would require an additional $10,000 allocation and the deputy superintendent contract an additional $20,000.

Beeson explained that Lewis did not receive a raise. With the 2018-2019 budget approval on Aug. 13, the board authorized paying Lewis and Stubblefield salaries that had already been approved, she said. In the case of Lewis, it was the $215,000 the board publicly announced would be his annual compensation when he was hired in January. That was also the annual compensation the board agreed to list when advertising the open position last fall.

The $215,000 Lewis is to be paid this school year is $10,000 more than Kyle Hayden was paid annually when he was superintendent in 2016-2017. That was the $10,000 adjustment Johnson noted in the budget presentation, Beeson said.

The board promoted Stubblefield from assistant superintendent to a $150,000-salary deputy superintendent position in May 2017, Beeson said. After Lewis was hired in January, the board negotiated and approved a retention package for Stubblefield that increased her deputy superintendent salary by $20,000 annually to $170,000, Beeson said. It is not immediately clear from board agendas or minutes when that package was approved. Stubblefield did not draw the deputy superintendent salary last school year, however, because she was named district interim superintendent for the 2017-2018 school year and received the superintendent compensation.

In other business, the board listened to presentations from representatives of BoardDocs and BoardPaq, two paperless board meeting management systems that allow the online posting of agendas, minutes and supporting documents. The board took no action, and members indicated that they also wanted to hear from Sparq Data Solutions, which offers similar software.


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