Next superintendent salary ‘in the range of $265,000’

Consultant says internal listing has already yielded applicants

By Josh Bickford
Posted 2/6/24

The Barrington School Committee is offering a salary “in the range of $265,000” to candidates interested in becoming the district’s next Superintendent of Schools.  

That …

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Next superintendent salary ‘in the range of $265,000’

Consultant says internal listing has already yielded applicants


The Barrington School Committee is offering a salary “in the range of $265,000” to candidates interested in becoming the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. 

That offer is approximately $75,000 more than current Superintendent Mike Messore is earning this year. Messore is a 12-year veteran of the job and has worked in the district for more than 20 years. He is retiring at the end of the school year.

The salary for Barrington’s next superintendent is also $50,000 more than any other district across the state is paying its superintendent. The highest paid superintendent in Rhode Island (Providence Public Schools) is earning about $212,000 this year. 

The decision to offer $265,000 followed the advice of a consultant hired by the Barrington School Committee to assist with the superintendent search. 

Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, a firm based in Schaumburg, Ill., recommended that the Barrington School Committee list a single compensation figure — in this case $265,000. Previously, Committee members voted to list the salary range of $265,000 to $290,000.

Committee members spoke with two officials from the consultant firm via zoom during the Feb. 1 meeting. 

HYA’s Jack Smith told Committee members that he believes the $265,000 figure will attract candidates, and that $275,000 or $285,000 would not attract many more additionally. Smith added that the district could not drop the figure to a lower amount since they had already posted the $265,000 salary range with an internal listing on the HYA website. 

HYA’s Henry Johnson said the internal listing had already yielded applicants for the Barrington job. 

Smith said they are already seeing a lot of job openings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He suggested School Committee members take a look at the HYA website to see current job listings for superintendents. As of Monday morning, Feb. 5, the website showed two superintendent job openings in Massachusetts — one in Cohasset and another in Amherst. There are three superintendent jobs listed for New Hampshire — North Haverhill, Fremont, and Somerworth. (The listings accessible to the public did not show the salaries.)

Barrington School Committee Chairman Patrick McCrann shared information with the Barrington Times that had salaries for more than a dozen superintendents in Connecticut. The salaries ranged from $315,058 for the New Canaan Superintendent to $231,421 for the Stratford Superintendent. 

Thursday night

Smith opened the discussion on Thursday night by saying that the consultants had met with different groups of people in the district to talk about the superintendent’s job. Smith also spoke about the community’s commitment to and faith in its public schools.

Committee members reviewed the job packet created for the Superintendent’s position, and Smith spoke about some factors to consider in the search. 

Henry said some people have already applied for the Barrington job, and Smith added that the firm will also actively recruit candidates. 

School Committee member Frazier Bell asked when most well-qualified applicants expect to have job offers. The consultants said that happens in April. Smith said the pool of candidates shrinks by early May. 

Committee member TJ Peck asked about the recommended salary range. 

Smith said one of the current challenges is the acceleration of salaries. He said that he served as a superintendent at a district in Maryland in 2015 and 2016, and earned $190,000. He said that same position is now posted with a salary offer of $350,000.  

Committee member Megan Douglas asked if the consultants considered the size of the district and the cost of living in the area when establishing a salary range. Smith said the salary is more of a regional issue and also relates directly to the district itself. 

Peck asked what range should be offered to ensure that the top available candidates are not deterred from applying. Smith said $265,000 will attract candidates, and that $275,000 or $285,000 would not yield many additional candidates. 

Committee member Amanda Basse said she was comfortable staying at $265,000, adding that the Committee will likely negotiate higher figures if they are able to recruit strong candidates. 

Smith later said his firm will select a group of candidates and stand behind those individuals — if a new hire leaves within the first year, the firm would conduct an additional search at no cost to Barrington. 

Committee members later voted unanimously to approve the job packet for the Barrington Superintendent’s position. 

Barrington is paying HYA $17,500 to assist in the superintendent search process. 

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.