Delaware Public Education Salaries Over $100,000: Rankings, Student Cost, Ratios, $$$ Totals, & Synopsis

After weeks of work, all of the Delaware Public Education salaries over $100,000 have been posted with a few exceptions.  Those are four charter schools who either did not respond or will in the next couple of days.  But there is more than enough data to make some sense out of all this.  Many asked why I was posting these.  There were several reasons: requests, comparisons, money tracking, and general curiosity.  But the main reason was to see if I could answer the age-old question- “Are there too many administrators?”  Finally, I am prepared to answer that.

Before I give my overall answer on a very difficult question, it is important to look at some takeaways from this.  Just posting each district or charter by itself does not give a clear answer to anything.  But the following information will.  I took all the schools with five or more administrators making over $100,000.  This eliminated most of the charter schools with the exception of Newark Charter School and Charter School of Wilmington.  It also put Delmar to the side.  The data would be very skewed if I included all the charters and Delmar!  Here are the statewide averages:

Number of Administrators making over $100,000- 601

Administrator to Student ratio on average was 1 administrator for every 207 students

The total amount of all salaries over $100,000 in these 18 school districts and 2 charter schools was $72,570,989

The average cost per student for all 600 of these administrators was $583

For all salaries over $100,000, the average salary in the state was $120,750.

Keep in mind, these are averages.  Where this really gets wild is when you break this down by districts and the two charter schools.

 


For this part, I did include all the reporting charter schools and Delmar, but as I wrote above, I did not include them in the calculations below this.

Delaware Public Education Salaries Over $100,000 Totals

  • Appoquinimink: $6,326,636
  • Brandywine: $7,039,311
  • Caesar Rodney: $3,422,115
  • Cape Henlopen: $3,551,229
  • Capital: $4,592,946
  • Christina: $9,050,646
    • DAP: $848,181
    • DE School For The Deaf: $716,043
    • Other Programs: $605,509
      • Christina Total: $11,220,379
  • Colonial: $6,025,710
  • Delmar: $360,792
  • Indian River: $2,777,353
  • Lake Forest: $1,377,792
  • Laurel: $584,657
  • Milford: $1,156,502
  • New Castle Co. Vo-Tech: $4,559,876
  • Polytech: $1,079,030
  • Red Clay Consolidated: $11,477,983
  • Seaford: $1,700,424
  • Smyrna: $2,148,692
  • Sussex Tech: $932,080
  • Woodbridge: $1,132,264
  • Total Districts: $71,465,771

 

  • Charter Schools: $4,563,000

 

  • Delaware Department of Education: $7,344,317

 

Grand Total of $100,000+ salaries in Delaware Public Education: $83,373,097


 

How many administrators are there per student in Delaware?

State Average 1:207

  1. Polytech 1:132
  2. New Castle Co. Vo-Tech 1:135
  3. Sussex Tech. 1:156
  4. Christina 1:157*
  5. Capital 1:167
  6. Red Clay 1:169
  7. Cape Henlopen 1:182
  8. Brandywine 1:190
  9. Charter School of Wilmington 1:194
  10. Appoquinimink 1:201
  11. Colonial 1:205
  12. Seaford 1:248
  13. Woodbridge 1:254
  14. Caesar Rodney 1:265
  15. Smyrna 1:305
  16. Lake Forest 1:317
  17. Newark Charter School 1:336
  18. Milford 1:376
  19. Indian River 1:425
  20. Laurel 1:489

Cost Per Student in each District or Charter For All Administrators Making Over $100,000

State Average: $582

  1. New Castle Co. Vo-Tech $966
  2. Polytech $908
  3. Christina $763
  4. Sussex Tech $746
  5. Red Clay $729
  6. Capital $707
  7. Brandywine $672
  8. Cape Henlopen $651
  9. Colonial $613
  10. Charter School of Wilmington $597
  11. Appoquinimink $581
  12. Seaford $489
  13. Woodbridge $446
  14. Caesar Rodney $430
  15. Smyrna $391
  16. Newark Charter School $376
  17. Lake Forest $362
  18. Milford $280
  19. Indian River $261
  20. Laurel $238

Average Salary Over $100k per district/charter school

State Average: $120,775

  1. New Castle Co. Vo-Tech $130,282
  2. Brandywine $127,987
  3. Newark Charter School $126,508
  4. Colonial $125,535
  5. Red Clay $123,419
  6. Seaford $121,548
  7. Christina $120,649
  8. Polytech $119,892
  9. Smyrna $119,371
  10. Cape Henlopen $118,374
  11. Capital $117,767
  12. Appoquinimink $117,159
  13. Laurel $116,931
  14. Sussex Tech $116,510
  15. Charter School of Wilmington $116,089
  16. Lake Forest $114,816
  17. Caesar Rodney $114,070
  18. Woodbridge $113,226
  19. Indian River $111,094
  20. Milford $105,136

Superintendent Salary Ranking From Highest To Lowest

    1. Mark Holodick, Brandywine, $199,677
    2. Victoria Gehrt, NCC Vo-Tech, $190,331
    3. Richard Gregg, Christina, $180,000
    4. Robert Fulton, Cape Henlopen, $176,610
    5. Merv Daugherty, Red Clay, $176,408
    6. Dusty Blakey, Colonial, $176,384
    7. Matthew Burrows, Appoquinimink, $175,000
    8. Patrik Williams, Smyrna, $168,712
    9. Kevin Fitzgerald, Caesar Rodney, $168,001
    10. David Perrington, Seaford, $163,883
    11. Dan Shelton, Capital, $162,739
    12. Mark Dufendach, Polytech, $159,637
    13. Brenda Wynder, Lake Forest, $155,293
    14. Kevin Dickerson, Milford, $153,145
    15. Mark Steele, Indian River, $150,430
    16. Heath Chasanov, Woodbridge, $147,433
    17. Charity Phillips, Delmar, $141,967
    18. Shawn Larrimore, Laurel, $138,777

*Sussex Tech has no Superintendent at this time, two admins are serving as Co-Acting Superintendent


Charter School Leader Ranking from Highest to Lowest:

      1. Chuck Taylor, Providence Creek, $170,000
      2. Nick Manolakos, Odyssey, $168,500
      3. Greg Meece, Newark Charter, $156,300
      4. Aaron Bass, CSNC/East Side, $150,000
      5. Ned Southworth, MOT, $144,728
      6. Salome Thomas-EL, Thomas Edison, $138,364
      7. Anthony Pullella, Delaware Military Acad., $137,552
      8. Sam Paoli, Charter School of Wilmington, $137,500
      9. Courtney Fox, First State Montessori, $132,000
      10. Stan Bobowski, CSNC/East Side, $130,000
      11. Margie Lopez Waite, Las Americas ASPIRA, $129,790
      12. Ned Southworth, MOT, $128,750
      13. Patricia Oliphant, Sussex Academy, $125,980
      14. Evelyn Edney, Early College High School, $124,000
      15. Herbert Sheldon, DE Academy of Public Safety & Security, $115,000
      16. Sally Maldonado, Kuumba, $110,781*
      17. Leroy Travers, Campus Community, $103,000
      18. Ed Emmett, Positive Outcomes, $100,221
      19. Patrick Gallucci, First State Military Academy, $97,500

*Kuumba Leader’s salary based on 2015 IRS Tax return; for Academia Antonia Alonso, Academy of Dover, and Freire, they reported no salaries over $100,000; for Gateway and Great Oaks, they didn’t respond at all to my FOIA request, DE Design-Lab still has a few days to get their FOIA response back.


Assistant Superintendents and Others making over $140,000, Highest to Lowest

      1. Hugh Broomall, Red Clay, $171,174
      2. Karen Gilbert, Colonial, $161,783
      3. Noreen Lasorsa, Christina, $156,668
      4. Lincoln Holler, Brandywine, $152,137
      5. Lori Duerr, Colonial, $151,172
      6. Robert Silber, Christina, $149,168
      7. Peter Leida, Colonial, $148,863
      8. Jeffrey Menzer, Colonial, $148,822
      9. Ted Ammann, Red Clay, $148,349
      10. Jason Hale, Brandywine, $147,219
      11. Gerald Allen, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      12. Joseph Jones, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      13. Annemarie Linden, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      14. Sean Sokolowski, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      15. Stanley Spoor IV, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      16. Teresa Villa, NCC Vo-Tech, $146,223
      17. Elizabeth Fleetwood, Colonial, $146,217
      18. Vilicia Cade, Christina, $146,083
      19. Jerry Gallagher, Smyrna, $145,682
      20. Jon Cooper, Colonial, $145,560
      21. Jill Floore, Red Clay, $144,547
      22. Kimberly Doherty, Brandywine, $143,941
      23. Lisa Lawson, Brandywine, $143,941
      24. Cary Riches, Brandywine, $143,941
      25. Cora Scott, Brandywine, $143,941
      26. James Simmons III, Brandywine, $143,941
      27. Edward Mayfield, Christina, $143,800
      28. Paula Angelucci, Colonial, $142,941
      29. Holly Sage, Colonial, $141,906
      30. Elizabeth Howell, Colonial, $141,772
      31. Sharon Pepukayi, Appoquinimink, $141,676
      32. Josette Tucker, Christina, $141,083
      33. Clifton Hayes, NCC Vo-Tech, $141,038
      34. George Lamey, NCC Vo-Tech, $141,038
      35. Shanta Reynolds, NCC Vo-Tech, $141,038
      36. Sylvia Henderson, Capital, $140,693

SYNOPSIS: ARE THERE TOO MANY ADMINISTRATORS IN DELAWARE PUBLIC EDUCATION?

and other thoughts on the landscape of Delaware education…

The short answer?  No.  I do not believe we have too many administrators on average.  I do think some districts do, such as Red Clay, Brandywine*, and the vocational districts.  Some have just the right number.  Some, in my opinion, have compensation that is very high for certain positions.  This can be seen in Red Clay, Brandywine, Colonial, and New Castle County Vo-Tech.  I devised a formula based on student count, number of buildings, and the number of administrators making over $100,000.  My theory was that all Assistant Principals and up would be over $100,000 in annual salary.  I found this to be the case in most districts, but it is not always the case.  So it may throw off my numbers a bit but it does give a general idea.

Many feel district offices have too many administrators.  Some should skim some of the fat in my opinion, but overall they are right where they need to be.  Positions will naturally build up the more students you have.  While smaller districts take on multiple roles, bigger districts need more people to coordinate it all.  Everything from Transportation, to Nutrition, to Assessments, Special Education, and so on.  As education evolves (or devolves as some see it), there might be a greater need for more administrators in the future.  As Delaware’s English Language Learner population grows, there will need to be someone in each district to coordinate just that aspect.  Some district administrators have Special Education and Student Climate, as an example, on their individual workload.  That might need to be spread out as those districts grow.  In districts where student enrollment is steadily going down, such as the New Castle traditional districts, there might come a time when administrative positions decrease.

I do not believe any district should use temporary funding to create long-term positions.  An example of this is Race to the Top.  Districts were forced to create specialist in certain areas and they received funding from the U.S. DOE to do that.  Some districts still have those positions even though the federal funding is long gone.  I’m looking at you Red Clay!

Another big thing to keep in mind with administrator pay is how long someone has held that position.  Most state workers in education tend to see a cost of living increase.  So do administrators.  Even a 2% increase each year can add up very fast when someone is making over $100,000 a year.  There is also competition to consider.  While I don’t have salary rates for education administrators in other states, it is obvious New Castle County and parts of Kent County demand higher salaries for positions.  Cape Henlopen, the wealthiest area of Sussex County, shows this as well.  I do think the vocational districts are too high with overall salaries.  It must be nice when the General Assembly sets your budget!  A new Superintendent tends to make less than his or her predecessor because they are new to the position.

A shining example of this is the Christina School District.  I’ve heard from teachers within that district who tell me “so and so doesn’t do anything”.  That is most likely the case in every district just as it is in every single large organization.  There will always be those who are seen as lazy and not worth the title they have.  By no means is this right, but it happens everywhere.  Christina is often pegged as the district with “too many administrators”.  But many forget that 19.35% of those administrators are for special needs programs where the amount of services needed for those students is extreme compared to their non-disabled peers.  When you take those positions out of the equation, Christina is on par with other large districts in New Castle County.

Based on our unit-based funding formula, districts and charters are allowed to have so many administrators in their schools and district offices based on the number of students enrolled.  Everyone gets a Superintendent or Head of School position.  From there, it goes up or down based on the September 30th unit count.

There are many outside factors that come into public schools: crime, violence, drugs, poverty, disabilities, abuse, mental illness, and so forth.  As we venture into a time of “compassionate schools” and “trauma-informed” practices, the needs will grow.  We live in a very divided society these days and not everyone agrees on things.  But, in my opinion, children have to come first.  If we are doing things based on a corporate stance, we are missing the boat.  It is a mixed bag.  Districts and charter schools are run like corporations, but the children are the consumers.  It isn’t as easy as what businesses do.  For retailers, as an example, their profits depend on demand.  If people aren’t buying something, it goes away.  But education, at its essence, is the same product- making sure children are able to grow up and move on in society, whether it is college or a career.  Public education is, and should be, designed to get them to that point.  Someone has to steer that ship and make sure the boat stays afloat when you have a ton of passengers, and administrators are the ones that do that.

As far as the Department of Education goes, they can definitely trim their own fat.  I’ve always felt that.  They have made themselves turn into a small organization into a large bureaucracy over the past forty years.    Ever since the U.S. Department of Education grew, the state DOEs have done the same.  But those DOEs, on a federal and state level, allowed corporations to come into education and dictate how things should be.

The huge growth of standardized testing and Common Core are clear examples of that.  Now that those are a part of the landscape, we are moving into a digital era in education where the teaching profession is slowly eroding and being replaced by technology.  Buzzwords like “competency-based education” and “personalized learning” are invading education at a very fast pace.  Education’s measurement has become standardized test scores and everything spins on that axis.  And from that comes the corporations invading our schools with this assessment service and this learning curriculum.  Our school boards and district leaders swallow the Kool-Aid but they don’t see a drastic improvement in those coveted test scores.

Schools in Delaware have many challenges these days.  One of the biggest is technology.  As they strive to bring it into the classroom, students are tempted to use it for non-educational uses.  Cell phones are prevalent in our schools and school leaders and teachers are dealing with it in very different ways.  Children have become hooked on screen time.  It is rewiring their brains at a fast pace.  The data going out of our schools and into the hands of companies is happening at lightning speed.  We have allowed this beast to take over education and now we have to deal with the repercussions.

As much as certain taxpayers complain about the referendum process in Delaware, what those taxpayers fear the most could happen in the future.  Property assessment in Delaware is very low compared to other states.  But Delaware is very unique due to the state providing the bulk of public education funding.  As our population steadily rises, the education budget for the state and our districts and charter schools will only go up.  I firmly believe we need more oversight on where every single penny goes.  But the simple truth is this- we can either continue on the same path, with the state providing the bulk of the funding and local costs making up about 1/3rd of that along with about 10% of federal funding, or, we can take a fresh look at property assessments and reformulate those.  That could provide less state funding into public education and more on the local side.  If that does happen, I think the state should lower taxes for people to make up for that.  The tradeoff could be an eventual erosion of the Delaware Department of Education, a state agency, and more control on the local side.  While our schools and districts have been brainwashed into thinking Common Core and the curriculum around that are the only way to go, the Every Student Succeeds Act does have a mechanism by which districts or charter schools can set their own standards.  I would love to see a district in Delaware take the lead on that!

Many folks have contacted me about this data, either praising it or asking why I would throw this out there.  Some folks feel these administrators are killing education while others feel they deserve six figures and they earned it.  The reactions have swung from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I do have some general questions.  In education, a field predominantly held by women, why are there so many men making the really big bucks in Delaware public education?

Out of the non-Superintendents making over $140,000, half of them are men.  In our charter school arena, there are 73.68% male leaders. 83.33% of our Superintendents are men.   I challenge you, the reader, to walk into any school.  What you should typically see, if every single teacher was in the same room, would be a much larger proportion of women over men.  Where I do see a greater amount of women than men is in our Delaware Department of Education.  It isn’t a large difference, only 51.51%, but it is better than what I see in our district and charter leadership positions.

I was unable to match faces to names, so I have no way of knowing how many of our administrators making over $100,000 are minorities, such as African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, or other potential races.  I do know quite a few of these folks, especially at the DOE and district and charter leaders, but when it comes to leaders in our school buildings, I have no idea.

Some have asked why I didn’t include teachers in this.  That would be a gigantic task and I simply don’t have time for that.  We have, what, over 13,000 teachers in our state?  If the districts and charters want to voluntarily and collectively send me that information, I can certainly look at it and do some reports based on that, but I don’t envision a series of articles releasing the names and salaries of every single teacher in the state.  Sorry folks!

Once again, a very special thank you to those who responded to this information.  I’m sure it wasn’t a very difficult task, and it was based on a FOIA request, but you took time out of your (I hope) busy days to compile this information and send it to me.  I know I can be a pain in the buttocks a lot, so I appreciate it even more!

For any journalist, company, or media organization utilizing this data, you are more than welcome.  I only ask that you cite this blog as the source for the material.  Thank you.

8 thoughts on “Delaware Public Education Salaries Over $100,000: Rankings, Student Cost, Ratios, $$$ Totals, & Synopsis

  1. Thanks for all you do! I don’t often agree with you, but I do in this case. It was sort of what I was trying to say when I was advocating for the referendum in Indian River. They NEEDED the funds and still do apparently. We have 1 administrator for 425 kids. That is crazy! Nothing is perfect in this world when there are so many people involved, but the district is growing like crazy and doesn’t appear to be stopping. Somehow we have to find the funds to provide an education for the kids.

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  2. Hi Kevin, can you please show where you received this data, because I’m finding conflicting information. I sent you a message on Facebook to ask for more detail. Thank you!

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    • I submitted a FOIA to all districts and charters for annual salaries. Coincidentally, State News published an article based on information sent from the Office of Management and Budget showing salaries earned in 2017. I don’t know if that was for the calendar year or the fiscal year. Their information has salaries + other compensation. So while I reported Holodick makes $199k in annual salary they reported $240k. Which is in line with the extra compensation he had when the News Journal reported this information in 2014.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am curious how you arrived at the administrstor to student ratio of 1:132 for Polytech. If you are counting the administrator of the adult ed program, then you should also count the adult ed population. The ratio is inaccurate otherwise.

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  4. Following up from the comment about the 1:132 ratio of adminitrators to students at Polytech, the Superintent is also head of the district…which includes the adult ed population. It is very misleading to not include the adult ed population in the student count.

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    • Fair enough. Like I said, if you can provide that population, I would be happy to incorporate it. But I am going by information provided by the Delaware DOE on student count. My FOIA was for all administrators making over $100,000.

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