Kevin Siers, the incoming Franklin County superintendent of schools, will be paid $156,000 a year over the next four years, according to a copy of his employment contract obtained by The Roanoke Times.
Siers signed the contract May 5 after a special county school board meeting and vote. However, officials would not release details at the time. The Roanoke Times filed a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for the contract.
Siers’ four-year contract starts July 1. The starting pay is significantly higher than the starting salary of current Superintendent Bernice Cobbs, who was hired internally in late 2020. Cobbs’ starting salary was $125,000. She declined to seek a contract extension earlier this year and will step down June 30.
A 5% increase to all Franklin County Public Schools employees July 1, 2021, increased Cobbs’ pay to $131,250. A second 5% increase to all employees on July 1, 2022, would have increased her salary to $137,812, but Cobbs declined the increase.
People are also reading…
“Dr. Cobbs declined the increase because she did not feel it was appropriate to accept it when teachers and staff were not being compensated at market value,” said David Terry, director of business and finance for Franklin County Public Schools. “She wanted her increase to go to teachers and staff.”
Siers’ compensation is in line with what he earned as superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools. His salary for the 2022-23 school year was $156,385. He resigned from the position last month after accepting the superintendent position at Franklin County.
Franklin County School Board Chairman Jeff Worley said Siers’ agreed salary was keeping in line with what he was compensated at Pulaski County and also comparable to other districts with similar size. Inflation also played a factor in the significant jump in salary, he said.
“This has sort of become the cost of hiring a superintendent,” Worley said.
Siers’ starting salary is a $31,000 increase over the starting salary of Cobbs, who has a similar background in education. Cobbs was the assistant principal of Franklin County High School before taking the position. She was also the principal of Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Boones Mill Elementary and Snow Creek Elementary, and director of the K-5 curriculum and instruction.
Prior to his time in Pulaski County, Siers served as the principal of Christiansburg High School in 2012 after two years working as the superintendent of Monroe County Schools in West Virginia. Prior to that, he served as principal of Bland High School in Bland County, and was an assistant principal and transportation director at Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina.
Siers and Cobbs each earned a doctorate in education leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech. Siers has a master’s of school administration from Appalachian State. Cobbs has master’s of education degrees from Radford University and the University of Virginia.
Cobbs’ contract as Franklin County’s superintendent will end June 30. Siers is expected to take over the role the following day.