The Calhoun County Board of Education recently gave Superintendent of
Schools Ron Blankenship a two-year contract for $81,000, a $9,000 raise.
See list of salaries paid in the area, which shows Blankenship's salary to be
the highest in neighboring counties.|
Board member Burl Simers said the raise was given based on performance
and Blankenship's ability to get grants. Additionally, he said hiring a new
person might create problems.
Simers publicly quoted a salary for Wirt County Superintendent Ed Toma at
$82,000, which was published by the West Virginia Association of School
That listing is inaccurate. Superintendent Ed Toma's salary was just raised
to $65,000, according to Wirt County administrators. "It was the Association
list I had in front of me," said Simers, who openly spoke about the pay
Simers said the average salary for school superintendents in West Virginia,
according to the School Board Association, is $75,009. "We have been told
before the year is over, the average salary around the state will be between
$80,000 and $85,000," he said.
The hiring of chief administrators in the state varies widely, and is
negotiated individually with school boards. It is not based on the number of
schools or students within a county.
Kanawha Counties superintendent is the state's highest paid at $100,000
with 86 schools and 28,048 students. The super's pro-rated cost per student
Calhoun's superintendent will now be paid $81,000 with five schools and
1289 students. The pro-rated cost per student is $62.84. Calhoun has lost
143 students since school year 1999-2000.
Cabel County's superintendent is paid $80,000 with 32 schools and 12,812
students. The pro-rated cost per student is $6.24.
If the salaries of school administrators was based on school population,
most salaries would be reduced because of declining student
Many counties have a much bigger administrative staff than found in
Calhoun, and some have several Assistant Superintendents. Blankenship has
no Assistant Superintendent, and Calhoun staff has been described as "bare