Park City School District provides increased pay and a home to new superintendent
The Park City Board of Education recently approved its budget and, with it, the salary and benefits of the new leader of the Park City School District.
Jill Gildea, who is expected to assume her new role as superintendent on Aug. 1, was given a base salary of $235,000. Along with benefits, her salary package is anticipated to total about $348,000, said Todd Hauber, business administrator for the district. She will also be given the opportunity to live in a district-owned residence.
Hauber said that the deal represents a $65,000 increase to the superintendent salary. Ember Conley, who stepped down last school year, had a base salary of $170,000.
Andrew Caplan, president of the Board, said that the reason behind the pay increase is because the two leaders came into the position with different levels of experience.
Gildea is entering the district from a superintendent position in Greenwich, Connecticut, which she served in for one year. Prior to that, she was a superintendent in Illinois for seven years. She sought to leave Connecticut for Utah due to a change in her husband’s job.
Conley came from a position as deputy superintendent of an Arizona school district before assuming her role in Park City.
“It is kind of an experience-based pay,” Caplan said. “We made a decision to try to attract the best possible candidates and then compensate them appropriately for their experience level and what they were going to bring to the district.”
Caplan said that the increase in the salary will make Gildea one of the three highest-paid superintendents in the state. Teachers and other administrators in the district have some of the highest salaries in the state as well.
Caplan also said that the compensation is consistent with other mountain town communities in the Mountain West region.
The salary that the Board settled on was within the range that it expected to pay as it began the superintendent search, according to both Caplan and Hauber.
The Board is also providing a home for the new superintendent, which is another change from the compensation of previous district leaders.
Hauber is currently in the process of selecting a home within the Park City School District boundaries that is under $1 million for the district to purchase.
He said that the Board decided to add that benefit because there was an interest in the community that the superintendent be a “full participant and member of the community.” Conley did not live within the district boundaries, Caplan said.
“When we did our community outreach at the beginning of the process, one of the consistent themes that we heard from various community stakeholders was that they wanted the superintendent to live in the community,” Caplan said. “It is very expensive to live here, and it is only becoming more so. We made a decision as a group to purchase a residence.”
Caplan said that districts providing homes or housing stipends is a trend in other mountain towns and in California.
Caplan said the home will be an asset that the district will own, and it will remain in its possession after the superintendent leaves or steps down.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.