The Carson City School Board renewed Superintendent Richard Stokes’ contract for July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022, and voted to increase his salary from $160,000 to $173,189, beginning July 1, during its Feb. 11 board meeting.
Board President Mike Walker, Vice President Joe Cacioppo and school district attorney Mike Pavlakis recently renegotiated Stokes’ contract reflecting a cumulative 8.2 percent increase for both years for which trustees agreed he was long overdue. Throughout the process, Walker said Stokes had communicated he was “happy with things as they were” and sought to remain on board. But Walker added it was important to demonstrate the same equity toward Stokes as the district has toward its classified and certified staff.
Stokes has not received a pay increase since 2016-17, and Trustee Richard Varner noted his contributions merit deliberation.
“I truly believe you’ve been a valuable asset, and I’m glad you’re going to stay, but I would just like to put out there that the classified staff and the certified staff, they received a 2 percent raise per year,” Varner said. “I think we ought to give some consideration to sticking with the 2 percent pay raise.”
The board also hoped to help Carson City remain competitive for recruitment purposes by becoming better aligned with other superintendents’ salaries among districts of comparable size in the state. In 2017-18, the average superintendent’s salary was about $163,000, Cacioppo said.
According to transparentnevada.com, neighboring Lyon County School District Superintendent Wayne Workman was reported as earning $157,109 in 2017, then $163,455 in 2018.
The school board also expressed its desire in rewarding Stokes for his work guiding the district as it begins its recruitment process for potential successors.
“Part of our discussion with Mr. Stokes was in the fact that, with only a two-year plan, we are looking toward success,” Walker said. “And we’re afraid that not to compensate him fairly for what he’s doing, that’s going to eliminate some people from even looking at our district, and we’re going to want a talented superintendent in two years to take the helm, and we need to make sure we’re looking forward in that respect as well.”
The board approved Stokes’ contract in a 7-0 vote.