Of 25 Highest Paid Ridgefield Public Employees, 24 Are School Admins.

It turns out, according to the table below, that school employees in Ridgefield occupy 24 of the top 25 highest paid positions in town. Only the chief of police at number 25 made the list.

It's budget time as the May referendum approaches, and that means it's time to look at where Ridgefield taxpayers' money is going.

And with much talk about renovated libraries, purchased land and programs either cut or added to the school schedule, public salaries don't always make the headlines.

So how much do our town employees make? What positions are most highly paid? And in what departments?

It turns out, according to the table below put together from information gathered from the town human resources department and the school personnel department, that school employees in Ridgefield occupied 24 of the top 25 highest paid positions in Ridgefield in 2011. Only the chief of police at number 25 made the list.

Paul Hendrickson, Business Manager for Ridgefield schools (a position on the list), is likely to chime in today as a spokesperson for the district. See the comment section below for his perspective.

Patch will follow this story with comparisons to nearby and similar towns, as well as reactions from town and school officials.

2011 Salary Position Name $197,676 School Superintendent Deborah Low $172,903 Assnt. School Superintendent Pat Michael $167,444 High School Principal Jeffrey Jaslow $159,341 School Personnel Director Karen Dewing $158,324 ERMS Principal Marty Fiedler $158,324 Special Education Director Karen Berasi $153,057 SRMS Principal Tim Salem $151,647 Farmingville Elem. Principal Susan Gately $149,977 HS Assistant Principal Robert Slavinsky $151,647 Branchville Elem. Principal Jason McKinnon $151,647 Barlow Mt. Elem. Principal Rebecca Pembrook $151,647 Scotland Elem. Principal Mark Solomon $149,977 HS Assnt. Principal Sarah Isaac $149,977 HS Assnt. Principal Stephanie Parker $149,977 HS Assnt. Principal Diane de Cristo $149,977 School Athletics Director Carl Charles $136,919 School Business Director Paul Hendrickson $140,508 Special Education Supervisor Kathy Murphy $140,508 Technology Manager Josh Smith $135,508 ERMS Assnt. Principal Adam Rosen $135,508 SRMS Assnt. Principal Michael Sheehan $135,508 ERMS Assnt. Principal Jeff Swiatowicz $146,326 Ridgebury Elem. Principal Jamie Palladino $138,327 Veterans Park Elem. Principal Lisa Singer $127,290 Chief of Police John Roche
Robert Lavelle March 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It's time here in the U.S. http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/03/19/public_union_bargaining_ends_in_uk
sebastian dangerfield March 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
someone has to be the highest paid. In Stamford -its the police. In Ridgefield its those involved in educating our kids. The right people are on this list---and the incomes are not that comparatively high. This is a good list.
Kerri Kneip Austin March 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM
These people work tirelessly at difficult jobs and should be paid accordingly. This is some pretty low brow reporting. No one blinks at the salaries their doctors or lawyers make, but to grab attention, ignorant reporters will put good people on the chopping block and imply that educating our future leaders is not worthy of a competitive salary.
Ed Tyrrell March 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Nothing in this article shows any bias. The facts are the facts. We have every right to know this. That the First Selectman is *not* on this list is ridiculous.
sebastian dangerfield March 20, 2012 at 06:54 PM
wow kerri-- I have no idea what you are talking about. This is a list of who gets paid in ridgefield. There doesnt seem to be any judgment. "ignorant reporters?" Unworthy? What article are you reading?
Leoj March 20, 2012 at 07:17 PM
We have some of the highest paid teachers in the CT and CT is in the top 2-3 states in the country in terms of highl;y paid teachers (according to the union's website) ... "competitive salary" ... it's way more than competitive. That's part of the problem.
Reason March 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM
So if admin are paid so much, whybtake it out on low paid educators all the time?
Wondering March 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM
So the second highest paid employee at the high school is the head gym teacher??
sebastian dangerfield March 21, 2012 at 03:36 AM
leo? I may be wrong--but i dont see any teachers on this list. If you determine a way to lower the salaries -and remain competitive I nominate you to the Board of Ed. I just need to hear those solutions-- and i dont want my home value to fall. (and I never had one kid in the ridgefield public school system. Schools are an investment--but Im all ears as to how to lower costs, without lowering the perception of striving for excellence in education.
Shredder March 21, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Wondering March 21, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Can you explain why the answer is no?
Dominique Bauthier March 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM
This is exactly what I would hope to see. We should value our educators. I hope we have equally competitive teacher salaries so that we can hope to attract the best teachers.
paul d. March 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Wow. People just can't read anymore. The second highest paid employee at the HS is the Asst Principal, Bob Slavinsky.
Wondering March 21, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Wow Paul, I see your point. What's the $ number next to Bob Slavinsky's name? Now what's the number next to the athletic director's name?
paul d. March 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I did not dignify your comment about "head gym teacher" as it is disrespectful to Carl Charles. His title is Athletic Director as you finally realized. He is responsible for the full breadth of the athletic program in all seasons, including transportation. My guess is that he supervises a budget larger than most people will earn in a lifetime. He directly supervises more people than you do in your job. He is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of hundreds of kids daily after school. And he has to interact with bitchy sports parents whether he wants to or not. You want the job?
Wondering March 21, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Whooops, you forgot to respond about the salary of Slavinsky compared to the athletic director. You see the error you were making? So is the athletic director the second highest paid employee at the high school?
NTW March 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Absolutely agree with pauls assessment of the Athletic Director, I am also pleased to see that the list is filled with real people doing real jobs, not always the case in Government. My only surprise is to see that our Police Chif is at the bottom and our Fire Cheif does not even make the list. I would have expected those roles to pay better. As a relatively new import to the US, I am learning all of the time and if nothing else, the transparency of information is refreshing.
paul d. March 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM
The Athletic Director - not the "head gym teacher" as you stated. Insulting people anonymously online who are not even part of this thread is pathetic.
Tom Falconieri March 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
You are joking right!!!!! I love the comedy on this issue!!!
Wondering March 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I see Paul is not willing to take responsibility for his rude mistake, "Wow. People just can't read anymore. " ... when he was the one misreading the chart. But moving on... I'm uncomfortable that the second highest paid employee at the high school seems to be the athletic director. Nothing against the guy. Seems like a fine fellow. But I'd rather see us paying up for the assistant principals or the head of the english department or some super-duper teacher. Can anyone point out another school district where the athletic director is the second highest paid employee at the high school?
Shredder March 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM
That's awesome that you found a salary out of numerical order. You calling the AD the head gym teacher makes about as much sense as calling a Kindergarten teacher a nanny. Calling him the second highest paid person at the HS is also ridiculous considering 5 people get that salary. Surely, if everyone at the whole school was paid the same, you wouldn't call one out for being the highest paid would you (even though technically correct)?
paul d. March 21, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Try reading to the end of the article.
Michael Gibney March 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
To avoid this confusion: Some numbers may appear out of order when, in fact, several other factors outside the base salary lead to them being ordered this way. The ordering is correct as it appears even if some numbers seem off. Thank you. -MG
Wondering March 21, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Hi Michael, Are you sure about your ordering? For example, isn't the athletic director also the basketball coach? A position for which he receives a stipend? So wouldn't that make him rise up in the ranks above the assistant principals who do not have such an arrangement?
sebastian dangerfield March 22, 2012 at 03:48 AM
wondering-- I have a question for you--just to see if you practice what you preach-- Do you think the athletic director - has the same responsibilites as the head gym teacher at an elementary school? Given that you know he is the basketball coach, Im "wondering' why you havent corrected yourself on the title? I think paul also made a mistake and he would not correct himself as his history showed--he just launched into another vector similar to you--but why, if you think its wrong to err and not correct yourself--do you do the same. To answer your question about athletic directors--i can tell you what darien's situation is 1) high school principal salary 180,709 (about 200 less kids than rhs who makes 167.5) 2) 3 asst v.princpals salary 154,500 (rhs 150) 3 darien athletic director 152,700 (not the 2nd highest but pretty much the same-- as rhs ) There you go...
paul d. March 23, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Nice bait. No fish Ishimata.


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