DANVILLE — In these days of tight budgets and a slow economy, many school districts are implementing cost containment measures and cutting back staff. Small districts such as Danville Local Schools are not immune to the financial crunch, so why does the district of 720 students, which used to operate with a high school principal and an elementary principal, now have three principals?
A middle school principal position was established in the district at an annual salary of $63,703.
“Last year,” said Superintendent Dan Harper, “the district had two deans of students. We realigned staff assignments, and eliminated the dean of student positions. The cost of those two deans of students was more than the cost of a middle school principal who is licensed to do more with staff and students.”
In addition to typical principal duties, Harper said, Lynn Shoemaker, middle school principal, is also responsible for completing the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Planning application, which controls all of the federal and state grants received by the district. She is also the district test coordinator, a job previously shared by a guidance counselor and elementary principal. That frees up the district’s one guidance counselor to spend more time working with students and gives the elementary principal more time to work with students and staff. The middle school principal also serves as the district’s Family and Civic Engagement Coordinator, a new position required by HB 1.
Danville’s elementary principal makes $69,000 a year and the high school principal $73,000 a year. All three principals are contracted to work 240 days a year, whereas East Knox and Mount Vernon principals officially work 220 days a year. Fredericktown principals serve 229 days and Centerburg principals are contracted for 240 days. Centerburg High School principal Mike Hebenthal’s contract calls for 260 days per year.