By Steve Gunn
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – We’ve come across too many instances over the past few years where local school boards will demand financial concessions from their teachers unions, then turn around and award absurd raises to administrators.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Leaders are supposed to set an example during tough times by bearing some of the burden themselves.
Joe Sheehan, superintendent of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin school district, clearly understands that. He has voluntarily passed up raises for four straight years to help his district pull itself out of a financial hole, according to a story published by the Sheboygan Press.
He is the only superintendent in Wisconsin to turn down a raise for such a long period of time, according to school board President David Gallianetti.
Sheehan finally accepted an $8,000 increase this week, bringing his salary to $142,000 for the 2012-13 school year. While that may be a very nice income, Sheehan’s years without a raise left him far behind many of his peers in districts of comparable size.
Sheboygan is the state’s 11th largest school district. With the raise, Sheehan now ranks 69th in salary among superintendents in Wisconsin.
“I think he is doing a really great job, being a leader of the district and getting us through some really trying and challenging times,” school board member Jennifer Pothast was quoted as saying. “And taking a pay freeze the last four years, walked the walk.”