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Fri, May 24

Prescott Unified School District board raises high school principal salary range to attract candidates

At its meeting Tuesday, the Prescott Unified School District Governing Board approved raising the salary range to between $75,000 and $79,568 for the incoming Prescott High School principal.

With current PHS Principal Totsy McCraley retiring at the end of June, the district wants to increase the salary range for that position to attract quality candidates and "find the best principal out there," PUSD Assistant Superintendent Joe Howard said.

The increase raises the base entry salary by more than $14,000 from the current $60,908.

"We can catch (principal candidates') eye; they may come up to interview if there's some room to negotiate," Howard said. "If we say $75,000 period, they may not even entertain it or come interview."

Board member Tina Seeley said she was concerned about how this decision would affect teachers' morale.

"It's not going to be very positive. I know that right now," Seeley said. "I think we really need to seriously take a look at doing something for them."

PUSD Superintendent Dave Smucker said salary schedules for most employees, teachers and administrators are low.

"I think we need to do something for the whole system," Smucker said. "It is very difficult for employees who have been here for five years and never received a raise."

According to an Arizona School Board Association 2011-12 salary survey, PUSD's high school principal salary low range was the lowest of five comparable districts, and its high range was second to the bottom among Humboldt, Chino Valley, Lake Havasu and Sierra Vista school districts.

"How do we compete for strong leadership when we are at the low end?" Smucker said.

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