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Shenendehowa leader tops latest local school administrator pay list; Set to make $300k

Shenendehowa leader tops latest local school administrator pay list; Set to make $300k

Shenendehowa leader tops latest local school administrator pay list; Set to make $300k
Oliver Robinson, superintendent, Shenendehowa Central School District.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer

Shenendehowa Superintendent Oliver Robinson is set to make over $300,000 next school year in salary and benefits, the highest pay of any educator in the region, according to administrator pay data released by the state Education Department on Wednesday.

Robinson, who has led one of the region’s largest school districts since 2005, has long been the region’s highest-paid educator and will continue to see his pay inch upward next school year. South Colonie Superintendent Jonathan Buhner, who has led the district since 2008, will be the second highest-paid superintendent in the region, according to the state data. Buhner’s overall pay next year is scheduled to reach over $296,000.

Patrick McGrath, superintendent of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake schools, will see the largest pay increase of any superintendent in the region, with his total pay growing from nearly $235,000 this school year to over $263,000 next year, according to the state data. The Burnt Hills school board approved a new contract with McGrath in December, lifting his base salary from just over $177,000 at the start of the current school year to nearly $200,000 next school year. An annual longevity bonus guarantees annual salary increases of at least 3 percent through December 2023, under McGrath's new contract.

“Patrick was definitely, in our estimation, being undervalued in the previous contract,” John Blowers, the Burnt Hills school board president, said shortly after the board approved McGrath’s raise. “This was a chance to demonstrate our commitment and Patrick’s commitment to us through these next five years.”

The average total superintendent pay in the region will be nearly $215,000 next school year, up from just over $212,500 for the current school year.

The state data also includes a look at how much other school administrators are slated to make next school year. Across 38 Capital Region school districts, there are a combined 137 school administrators – superintendents, assistant superintendents, department directors and school principals – who are set to make at least $138,000 next school year.

Districts are required to disclose superintendent pay and data on all administrators making at least $138,000 as part of annual budget documents filed prior to the May 21 budget vote. Some district superintendents make less than school principals and other administrators in larger districts.

North Colonie reported 20 district administrators who will make at least $138,000 next year, the most in the region. Both Shenendehowa and Schenectady school districts reported 11 administrators who will make at least $138,000.

The average school administrator in the region is set to make just under $180,000 next year, a less than 1 percent increase over current year pay. The rate of administrator pay growth will slow under proposed district budgets; current year administrator pay grew by over 2.5 percent compared to the prior school year, the largest average administrator pay bump in recent years.

Here’s a look at the highest paid superintendents in the region:

- Shenendehowa Superintendent Oliver Robinson, $300,322;

- South Colonie Superintendent Jonathan Buhner, $296,185;

- Troy Superintendent John Carmello, $271,567;

- Guilderland Superintendent Marie Wiles, $265,315;

- Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Superintendent Patrick McGrath, $263,680;

- Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring, $263,059

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