Haverhill School Committee Votes 4-2 to Approve Maximum Superintendent Payraise

Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Marotta reads to city children during "Read Across America Day" on March 1, 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

A majority of the Haverhill School Committee believe Superintendent Margaret Marotta has met her goals and voted to give her the maximum 4 percent bonus allowed in her contract.

The one-year raise came over the objections of School Committee members Scott W. Wood Jr. and Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello. Wood argued the superintendent, hired last year, has already receive a 2% increase and knew the job’s salary range when she took the post. School Committee member Richard J. Rosa placed the item on the agenda, explaining Marotta accepted the job at the low end of the range—$190,000, even though the top end was $210,000.

“Those who negotiated that contract basically said that if there was going to be any more, the superintendent was going to have to earn it and meet certain goals,” Rosa said.

He said Marotta received a minimum of five positive School Committee votes on each of the nine goals she was asked to meet. He observed no member specifically wrote the superintendent did not meet goals.

School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti motioned to offer the maximum bonus and received support from Vice Chairman Sven A. Amirian and members Rosa and Gail M. Sullivan. Mayor James J. Fiorentini was absent. Wood opposed the raise.

“I think she definitely hit some of those goals. However, built into the contract was already a raise which was a little over 2%, going from $190,000 to $194,000, which is above what the teacher’s got and most of the other employees in the district got. I think 2% is enough and I wouldn’t add 4% on to that,” Wood said.

The bonus  does not add to the base salary for determining the value of any future increase.

The Committee decided to consider new goals for the current school year. As was the case last year, member decided Fiorentini and Sullivan could assemble some ideas after hearing from other members. Sullivan said, however, she opposed “vague” goals such as “improve communication.” Rather, she explained, she prefers specific communication goals such as regular coffee with the superintendent.

Ryan-Ciardiello said she believes new goals shouldn’t be set until the new School Committee in January. Toni Sapienza-Donais won election to a seat this month, displacing Amirian.

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