Last month the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 board unanimously voted to award 2-percent pay raises to a couple of administrators. Assistant Principal John Passarella and Dean David Sibley will each get 2-percent raises this year, though their contracts have not been finalized. Business Manager Chris Whelton, who is entering the second year of a two-year contract, is also receiving a 2-percent pay raise.

At Lyons Township High School, which serves the southern part of Brookfield, all administrators are getting pay raises of 2.5 percent, according to David Sellers, LT’s director of business services.

The 2-percent raises for Passarella, Sibley and Whelton are less than the 2.7-percent increase in the consumer price index, said District 208 Interim Superintendent David Bonnette.

Passarella’s base salary jumps to $121,333 for the fiscal year that began July 1. The district will also pay on Passarella’s behalf his $12,589 contribution to the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS). District 208 also pays the TRS contribution for its other top administrators such as Principal Pamela Bylsma, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Tim Scanlon and Whelton. It is typical for schools to pay for the TRS contributions for top administrators.

Sibley’s pay increased to $112,965. Unlike the other top administrators Sibley, like all RB teachers, has to make his TRS contribution out of his own pocket.

Whelton’s base salary jumps to $133, 216, with the district also making a $13,822 TRS contribution of his behalf.

Bylsma, who began work as principal at RB on July 1, has an annual salary of $133,635. District 208 will pay Bylsma’s annual TRS contribution of $13,865 on her behalf.

Bonnette is not getting any pay increase this year. He will make the same $108,000 he earned last year, because he is paid $900 a day for 120 days of work. He cannot be paid for more than 120 days of work in a year, because he is currently receiving a TRS pension. Bonnette receives no other benefits. Bonnette actually works more many more days than he is paid for and is essentially volunteering many days of work.

Scanlon is the highest paid administrator at RB. In March of 2009 Scanlon and the school board entered into a three-year contract, giving Scanlon 6-percent annual raises until his scheduled retirement date of June 30, 2012.

It has been a common practice for school districts to give up to 6-percent raises to administrators and teachers who are about to retire. TRS pensions are based on the average of the highest four years salary earned. Such raises serve as a retirement incentive and are meant to maximize the pensions of retiring educators.

This year Scanlon will earn $152,186. His TRS contribution, to be paid by District 208 on his behalf, is $15,790.

At LT the highest paid administrator is District 204 Superintendent Tim Kilrea, who is now getting an annual salary of $194,750. LT pays the TRS contributions on behalf of its administrators who work a 12-month year. Kilrea’s TRS contribution, paid by District 204, will be $21,881.80.

LT Principal David Franson’s annual salary is now $158,630, and District 204 is making a TRS contribution of $17,790.83.

School districts are now required by state law to post compensation reports on their Web sites listing the salaries and other benefits paid to administrators. Links to those sites can be found on the Landmark’s Web site,

Sellers cautioned that it is difficult to compare administrative, pay because different administrators have widely varying levels of experience.

“Making broad generalizations about administrative pay is, I think, very difficult because of the experience and qualifications of the people in those positions,” Sellers said.

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