RAYMONDVILLE — After a year on the job, Superintendent Stetson Roane has become one of the highest-paid school bosses among the Rio Grande Valley’s 4-A districts.
School board members recently unanimously voted 6-0 to give Roane a $28,000 pay increase after handing him high marks on the first evaluation of his job performance.
The increase boosted Roane’s salary from $147,000 to $175,000.
“I’d like to thank the board of trustees for their unanimous vote and continued support,” Roane stated yesterday. “As a district, we’re moving in the right direction. In the past year we’ve made the biggest academic gains in school history, increased teacher salaries, received a superior financial rating, and added new programs in nursing and welding. I’m looking forward to another great year. “
The board gave Roane the $28,000 pay increase based on the salary range of $112,000 to $165,000 paid to superintendents serving the Valley’s 4A districts, board President John Solis said yesterday said.
During his first year, Roane helped the district significantly boost students’ state test scores, Solis said.
“It’s been a good year and Mr. Roane has been part of that,” Solis said. “Bringing in fresh ideas really helped us out on the financial side and the test scores.”
Roane’s evaluation was based, in part, on his success in meeting three main goals — boosting test scores, helping the district win voter approval of a tax ratification election and his involvement in the community.
This year, the Texas Education Agency gave the district a B rating based on student test scores.
“I’m proud to announce that all RISD campuses met standard and our (alternative) campus met alternative standard,” Roane stated. “I can’t say enough about the diligent work that students, teachers, administrators and staffs throughout the district put into this past school year. It is definitely the foundation for excellent things to come.”
Solis said Roane is working to improve scores.
“We’ve all seen our test scores really go up last year,” Solis said. “We want to continue to do better. Our target is always improving.”
Roane also helped the district pass the November election after residents voted against the measure in November 2016.
The election allowed the district to shift 13 cents from its interest and sinking fund to its maintenance and operating fund to lever an additional $1 million.
Most of the money funded higher employee salaries.
The pay increases helped the district’s climb from the bottom third of Valley school districts to the top third, Solis said.
This year, starting teacher salaries climbed to $45,530, from $42,150 last year.
“We want to be able to pay our teachers what we feel they should be paid and we want to be able to bring teachers in from the Valley,” Solis said.
A member of the community
Roane’s pay increase was also based on his success in becoming more involved in the community.
“We wanted to get more community involved,” Solis said. “We want our superintendent to be exposed and be in public more. He got connected with a lot of companies and businessmen and met our city and county officials.”
Not all positive
Earlier this year, some residents criticized the board’s 5-2 vote to buy a $434,349 jumbotron video scoreboard to stand over Bearkat Stadium.
Based on Roane’s recommendation, the board approved the purchase from Nevco, a leading manufacturer of video scoreboards listed on the state’s BuyBoard, a purchasing cooperative of state-approved vendors.
Officials said the scoreboard will generate revenue through the sale of advertising.
At the time, Roane said the new scoreboard will replace a 15-year-old scoreboard damaged in a wind storm.
The scoreboard is expected to be operating in time for the Bearkat’s first home game Sept. 7.
Media students are expected to help operate the biggest scoreboard that has loomed over town.
★ Boast student test scores
★ Helping the district win voter approval of tax ratification election
★ Become involvement in community