The superintendent of Laurens County School District 55 declined a 2 percent raise after receiving a positive evaluation from the district’s board.
Stephen G. Peters has served as superintendent of Laurens 55 since 2016. Pay raises are not built into his contract, according to Edward Murray, director of administrative services, but they are “sort of a standard practice for evaluations.” Peters has received and accepted pay raises after each of his two prior evaluations. His contract runs through the 2021-22 school year.
The board voted 6-0 to give Peters a positive evaluation, with trustee Mike Fortune not present.
In a press release, Peters explained his decision, saying “We are working diligently to raise the salaries of all employees and until we have our teachers and support staff pay at appropriate levels, I feel it is best for me to decline a raise at this time.”
According to State Ethics Commission filings, Peters’ salary in 2018 is $131,983, similar to that of other Lakelands superintendents. David O’Shields, superintendent of Laurens 56, made $138,845, according to filings. He was given a positive evaluation and a 2 percent raise in September.
According to their filings — all completed within the first three months of this year — superintendents for Greenwood County School Districts 50, 51 and 52 made $218,095, $129,763 and $133,000, respectively.
After a positive evaluation in October, Abbeville Superintendent Betty Jo Hall, who makes $140,000, was given a contract extension. Her contract does not, stipulate that she receive a pay raise after each positive evaluation, but she told the Index-Journal that she did not want to “make it sound like it’s not normal.”