Watertown Superintendent of Schools Dede Galdston received a 3 percent raise from the School Committee, which will put her around average for comparable school districts.
The raise makes her salary $193,636.91 for Fiscal Year 2023, which runs through the end of June.
The Superintendent deserves the raise, said City Council President Mark Sideris, who works with her on three boards.
“I believe that that is a very reasonable request and I believe that from where I sit in positions on the School Building and School committees and the City Council, we have a superintendent who goes above and beyond constantly,” Sideris said. “Having her as a leader of this District has really proven itself that we made a good decision a long time ago to hire her. And I really appreciate all that she does. … I couldn’t ask for anything more than what she does for us.”
The salary was based on a cost of living increase, and another bump. School Committee Chair Kendra Foley said a study was done of how Galdston’s salary compared to those in like-districts as defined by the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (called DART – District Analysis and Review Tools), as well as to schools in the Middlesex League, and in surrounding communities.
“We did an analysis of her salary vs. DART districts in DESE,” Foley said. “With the 2 percent COLA her salary is significantly lower than all of them. Adding a 1 percent market adjustment does not get her to the average for any of those categories but it gets her closer.”
The DART districts Foley mentioned include: Dedham, Hudson, Norwood, Woburn, Abbington and Medford.
School Committee member Lindsay Mosca said she appreciates that the study was done.
“I think we need to keep looking at (how salaries compare) as we have in other City departments and around the schools to make sure we have a salary offering that will keep her and compensate her for the work that is being done, which has been exciting and commendable, so far, so we want to make sure we are taking a hard look at that moving forward.”
The Superintendent’s salary adjustment was approved later than most years, Foley said.
“We usually review it earlier in the year but we wanted to make sure we were taking care of our teachers first, so that was the priority,” Foley said.
In March, the School Committee approved a contract with the Watertown Educators Association with raises for teachers over each of the next three years.