Double Duty, Indeed

I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR the informative article "Double Duty" (Oct. 2003, p. 30) regarding the complex job of a small rural district administrator. The administrators that fill this role truly understand the phrase "as needed." However, I believe you have omitted a part of this population. I wish to point out the number of female superintendents that are currently serving as administrators in small and often rural districts. In Illinois, 14 percent of superintendents are women, with a high concentration in small districts. The smaller schools cannot offer the extensive packages and salaries often seen in larger urban districts, allowing many females their first entry to administration. Any superintendent that serves in this capacity does so because of a commitment and dedication to children and education, and I would hate to see any of these dedicated educators omitted.

-Paula J. Harlan


Selmaville Grade School District #10

Salem, Illinois

I WAS EXTREMELY PLEASED TO READ YOUR article on the many roles and functions performed by rural superintendents. As the superintendent of the Delmar Delaware School District with a middle and senior high school of approximately 1,100 students, I also serve as the director of personnel, the director of finance, plant manager and special programs director. Formerly, as a principal in West Virginia, I served as a teacher, part-time secretary, food service manager, and parttime custodian and bus driver. Combined with being a parent, my small rural experiences have truly painted the "big picture" and help me to better understand how all of the parts and people in education work together for the common good. So often people on the outside wonder why we get paid decent wages for such a small enrollment. Maybe now they better understand just how hard we work for that wage.

-George Stone


Delmar School District

Delmar, Delaware

Bringing Home the Bacon, Again and Again

I JUST FINISHED "BRINGING HOME THE BACON" (September 2003, p. 28). It was an enlightening article. I was impressed with the Dobbs Ferry approach to salary [to] put all the percs in [the base] salary and let the superintendent buy what he/she wants. What you failed to point out was the most obvious reason (at least to me) for doing this. Forget public scrutiny. Look at retirement! In New York, depending on the tier, the retirement pay is calculated as a percent of the average of the high three years (without benefits). If there are no benefits because it's all in salary, this becomes the gift that keeps on giving -James R. Koch

Business Manager

Indian River Central School District

Philadelphia, New York