The Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education approved contract renewals and raises for administrators at its April 17 meeting. 

Two principals and one assistant principal were given one-time merit awards because of the improvements at their schools in addition to the 3-percent raises all administrators received.

L.J. Hauser Principal April Mahy and Central School Principal Pete Gatz received merit bonuses of $2,500, while Hauser Assistant Principal Christine Mullin received a merit award of $1,500.

This is believed to be the first time, at least in recent years, that merit awards were given to administrators in District 96.

The merit bonuses to the Mahy, Mullin, and Gatz were given because of improvements in test scores on the PARCC exam at Hauser and Central.

“Central have Hauser have both outperformed the district averages,” said District 96 school board President Jeff Miller.

The percentage of Hauser students exceeding expectations on the English Language Arts portion of the PARCC exam more than doubled in 2018, rising to 23 percent in 2018 from only 11 percent in 2017. 

Hauser students also did better in math last year, with the number of students exceeding expectations rising to 16 percent from 10 percent in 2017.

At Central School the percentage of students exceeding expectations in ELA rose to 19 percent in 2018, up from 12 percent in 2017. The percentage of Central students exceeding expectations in math also rose to 19 percent in 2018, up from 14 percent in 2017.

The merit awards are one-time payments that are not incorporated into base salaries and are given at the discretion of the Board of Education. 

All administrators in District 96, other than Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye, will be on one-year contracts next year.

Mahy’s salary next year, not counting the one-time merit award she is receiving, will be $115,744. Gatz will make $117,763 and Mullin will make $82,220, not counting their merit awards. 

The highest paid principal in District 96 will continue to be Ames Principal Todd Gierman who will make $122,251 next year. Hollywood School Principal Kim Hefner will make $112,668 and Blythe Park Principal Casimira Gorman will make $107,469.

Also having their contracts renewed with 3-percent raises were Director of Special Education Pam Shaw, Director of Finance and Operations Jim Fitton, Technology director Don Tufano and Instructional Technology Coordinator Jason Smit.

Shaw will make $139,614 next year, Fitton $139,050, Tufano $134,522 and Smit $87,206.

Ryan Toye’s is finishing the first year of a new three-year contract she and the school board agreed to last year. Her evaluation is not yet quite finished, but Miller said Ryan-Toye will likely also get a 3-percent raise. She currently makes $188,000.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Merryl Brownlow is the only District 96 administrator who won’t be returning next year. She is leaving to become superintendent of Palos Heights District 128. Brownlow will be replaced by Angela Dolezal, currently the principal of Longfellow School in Oak Park, who will make $135,000 next year.