School Board OKs New Berkley Superintendent's Contract

Dennis McDavid works to help realign some of his base pay to allow increases for other school district employees, as well as elevate Mary Beth Fitzpatrick to assistant superintendent.

The Berkley Board of Education on Monday night approved a three-year contract for that also allows raises for nearly a dozen other district employees and nets the district a small savings.

McDavid's contract includes a base salary of $158,000 a year, an annuity of $10,000, tuition reimbursement for one class toward doctorate degree per semester and a doctoral differential of $5,000 a year.

McDavid, the district's director of schools and human resources, will on July 1. McDavid volunteered to give up some of the base salary the district was prepared to offer him to allow for $1,000 a year increases in base salary for 10 board office staff members, according to Lawrence J. Gallagher, deputy superintendent of Finance, Facilities and Operations. 

McDavid downplayed his action, preferring to focus on the tasks at hand. "It's a small gesture," he said. "It's not really enough for all the work they do."

McDavid said he's "looking forward to continuing to work with a great team ... figuring out ways to better serve students."

The raises come at "no incremental cost (in fact there’s a modest savings) to the district’s budget due to the redirecting of these budgeted dollars from superintendent compensation," Gallagher wrote in a memo to the school board.

As part of the proposal, Mary Beth Fitzpatrick, director of Curriculum, Technology, Assessment and Grants, will get a salary increase to $127,000 from her current base of $120,268 and a title change to assistant superintendent. "Duties and expectations of her position have grown significantly over the past few years and her title has not accurately reflected her critical contributions to our school community, nor has her compensation been adjusted to accurately reflect her contributions and value," Gallagher wrote. 

During the process of negotiating the contract, board members had agreed upon a higher base salary than eventually agreed upon, supported by superintendent salaries within the county and of comparable districts as well as reflective of the talents McDavid brings to the superintendent’s position, Gallagher reported to the board.

"The board welcomed and very much appreciated Mr. McDavid's action," Board of Education President Paul Ellison wrote in an email to Berkley Patch.

District employees who will receive a $1,000 a year raise starting the next school year are:

  • Business Office: Debbie Goodcourage and Susan Monaghan 
  • Technology Department: Rose Gavrilovska and Scott Vollhardt
  • Human Resources: Lara Overy
  • Contracted Service: Rod Fisher, Jackie Hopkins, Jeff Montgomery and Ruth Moore
  • Superintendent’s Office: Lori Suarez
Stephanie Pandolfi March 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Dennis is a CLASS ACT! Unlike our soon-to-be-former super, who was the 2nd-highest paid superintendent in the state, and who is going to be pulling in nearly $100,000 MORE than Mr. McDavid (to oversee 4,000 students, and with the assistance of 4 assistant superintendents!) in his new position. For Dennis McDavid to (a.) forfeit some of his own salary so that the long-standing, loyal employees of the district can be given well-earned raises and (b.) acknowledge the incredible job that Mary Beth Fitzpatrick has done over her long career in the district - and reward her with a title that should have been bestowed long ago - makes me certain that the School Board has chosen wisely, and that our new central administration will be led with honesty, dignity, empathy, and appreciation for the administrators, teachers, and staff who make our schools so wonderful. Dennis, you've confirmed just how deserving you are of this position, and just how lucky we are to have you.
Jenn Johnson March 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Stephanie is right! Dennis is a class act and probably the most HUMBLE person that I have ever known. Congratulations to Mary Beth on a MUCH DESERVED position change.
Barrie Frankel March 28, 2012 at 04:02 PM
It is a wonderful feeling that we are now in the hands of someone who is committed to Berkley and the success of our community. Thank you for helping us move in a positive direction and taking on such a tremendous responsibility during such challenging times in education.


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