WATERLOO — Superintendent Jane Lindaman is getting a $13,200 boost in her salary after a year in which Waterloo Community Schools saw growth in achievement, the graduation rate, students taking college courses and more.
The Board of Education this week unanimously approved extending her three-year contract and a 6.23% increase in annual pay. Board member Lyle Schmitt was absent.
“I’m proud to say this evening that 66% of our metrics were met this year and so the commensurate salary increase is very much deserved,” said board president Shanlee McNally.
Lindaman’s salary is rising to $224,800, retroactive to July 1. A $15,000 tax-sheltered annuity and a $7,000 car allowance will remain the same, bringing her total compensation to $246,800. That’s a 5.65% increase when her salary and those benefits are included.
McNally noted Lindaman “is the only superintendent in the state of Iowa” whose increase in salary is calculated using a “pay for performance scale.” The board evaluates her on a set of 42 metrics and “every year, Jane has been compensated based on the number of those metrics that have been met.”
Lindaman’s initial review in June “was highly positive,” said McNally. “In fact, I will argue, Jane, that it was probably the best review you’ve had.”
The board waited to award a raise until all of the performance data that needed to be applied to the metrics was received. The percentage of goals met determined how much of a raise would be given out of a maximum of $20,000.
“In the process we do change the metrics. We refine the metrics yearly,” said board member Sue Flynn. “We cannot just base the performance on a test score because that’s just part of the job — a very important part of the job — among other things.”
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Some of the goals met were an increase in the graduation rate to an all-time high of 84.24%, reductions in the racial achievement gap for graduation and literacy rates to the smallest ever, and growth in concurrent college courses taken to 25% of high school students. The district fell just short on a number of other goals. Among those was the percentage of students with zero to one referrals, juniors on track with credits and daily attendance levels.
“I really, really appreciate the vote of confidence,” Lindaman said after the raise was approved. “It obviously takes a huge team” to accomplish the goals.
“I absolutely love what I do,” added the superintendent, who is starting her sixth year leading the district. “It has really been a privilege to serve Waterloo Schools and our students and our families.”
Board member Astor Williams said he has a much better understanding of the process setting the superintendent’s salary than a year ago, when he was fairly new to his position and abstained from voting. “I do think it’s well deserved,” he said of the raise.
Board member Endya Johnson said she is pleased with progress on the indicators. “It’s pretty amazing, everybody should be proud,” she said.
“Every penny that is attached to this Dr. Lindaman deserves,” added Flynn.
Despite the increase, Shanlee McNally noted Lindaman’s salary isn’t on par with some of the larger school districts in the state. “We still have work to do to get you competitive with the largest school districts with the most students and most staff in the (Urban Education Network) and the state of Iowa,” she told the superintendent.
Board member Rhonda McRina acknowledged, though, that some may see Lindaman’s salary in a different light.
“I recognize when we’re talking about a six-figure salary in a place where most people don’t earn that, it could be a cause for contentiousness or confusion,” she said. “I just hope that for those individuals who voted us into these seats, into these offices, that you find consolation in knowing that we’ve taken all things into consideration.”