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ONLY ON 3 INVESTIGATION: While teacher pay stays flat, 6 secretaries make more than $50k at New Hanover Co. Schools


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New details in our investigation of a reported relationship between New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley and an administrative assistant he supervised.

We are learning more about why she and some other administrative assistants have higher salaries than most teachers.

After Markley's former administrative assistant received a $6,000 raise in July that bumped her salary to more than $75,000 for what the district calls outside experience credit, we wanted to know what exactly that means.

But first, we asked the Board of Education chair his thoughts on the reported relationship.

"Do you have any more questions on outside work experience? Because I made it very plain I was not going to discuss personnel," Don Hayes said. "If you're through with outside work experience, then we're through."

Hayes did not want to talk about reports of the relationship between Markley and Baltezegar, so we asked why the district is considering a change in the district's fraternization policy.

"Basically I think that any organization where you have superiors in certain relationships with subordinants and so forth, it's frowned upon, and I think that's what they're addressing and looking at all that," he said.

We also asked Hayes to explain in more detail what outside experience credit is.

"If you're trying to hire like technology for example, you know, you're competing against other... if you've got computer skills and so forth, that's very marketable," Hayes said. "So it makes it difficult for us as a school system to pay the salaries that private industry can pay. So this was just an attempt or is an attempt to level that playing field some to where we can be more competitive in hiring employees."

Hayes says the money for outside experience credit comes from the district's budget. So we asked if some of the money that goes toward this outside experience credit go toward giving teachers maybe more.

"Well what we do then, we did raise the local teacher supplement," Hayes said. "We did raise that one percent, so that has been raised, which is well over a million dollars. So, that we can do, but as far as... we don't control the state salaries."

And he says when you compare other industries to the school district, he salaries are not out of line.

So how much money are we talking about for administrative assistants? According to the school district, Donna Rosser makes $61,108, Tabitha Adams makes $62,208, Glenda White makes $71,184. Markley's former assistant tops the list at $75,468, while teachers in the county have seen minimal increases in their district supplement.

"If you look at private industry, if you go to Cape Fear Community College, if you go out to UNCW, if you look at other corporations, administrative assistants, many of them make very good salaries, much higher than what ours make," Hayes said. "But yes, you're right. There are administrative assistants that do make more than a certified classroom teacher."

So what's the most a teacher can make in New Hanover County? The highest level on the state's pay scale is for a National Board Certified PhD with 36 or more years experience. Add in the district's eight-percent supplement, and a teacher with those qualifications would make less than $73,493.96 a year, or about $2,000 less than Baltezegar.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Teacher pay vs secretaries

As a school employee myself I can say good for that secretary-most secretaries have to work more than the teachers do (year round) and most all classified workers work more hours and days as well. teaching is the only profession that works 3/4 of the year and gets paid full time salary. I do not feel sorry for teachers-sorry

Secretaries Pay


Overpaid Secretaries

This exemplifies what is wrong with public schools. Too often there is gross mismanagement of taxpayer funds by the local school districts. Overpaid secretaries - making twice the pay of our youngest teachers - is just the tip of the iceberg. Check the pay of superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum assistants, academic "coaches", etc. in school district central offices. And check the pay of coaches, especially athletic directors and head football coaches, and investigate what is actually justifiable. Every school system should be audited annually and have its spending published for the public to see. The public doesn't have a clue.

curious..:-)how many months a year...

do the secretaries work?

Board Of Education moves in

Board Of Education moves in Mysterious Ways.

That is a lame excuse Mr. Hayes

If these administrative assistants, a pseudonym for secretaries, are being paid these salaries to compete with the broader job market, then the certified personnel, who have 4 year college degrees, master's degrees, and advanced certification including doctoral degrees and National Board certification, should be paid salaries that are competitive with the skills they would bring to the job market. All NC teachers were required to have computer hours as part of their recertification until this past year. I imagine any 1st year kindergarten teacher has computer skills that would surpass any of these administrative assistants. Also, how many of the teachers who were hired in 2002 have had salary increases of $60,000? As I recall, Ms Baltezegar started in 2002 making $15,000 and 11 years later is making $75k. Someone has a 2002 salary schedule and a current one. What is the salary increase according to the standardized salary scale for certified employees?

See what they make

This is not new news. The

This is not new news. The Star News has been publishing salaries for years. Go to their database and search for the Assistant to the Chancellor for UNCW. They make over $100K. This position would be comparable to the Assistant to the Superintendent at NHCS. Get the facts, compare apples to apples, and if you don't like the pay your job earns, find a job in a field that pays more.

I imagine the Assistant to the Chancellor has a College Degree

And, the Assistant(s) to the Chancellor is not necessarily comparing apples to apples. The position that would compare is an Administrative Assistant , an office person , not someone who represents the Chancellor as an Assistant to the Chancellor would.

Take the guess work out folks:

From this report:
***"Classroom Teacher Salaries: The U.S. average public school teacher salary for 2011–12 was $55,418."***
"Adjusting for inflation, thirty-two states saw real declines in average teacher salaries over those years. Those with average salaries declining 5 percent or more were: North Carolina (-15.7%)"
North Carolina isn't alone in teachers salary decline.
Read the article.


So...That's where all the Lottery Money goes.......

Honestly! Police officers

Honestly! Police officers putting their lives at risk for the public don't make that salary. Teachers have been underpaid for years and it is ridiculous that these secretaries make such a salary without calling for a degree. Teachers go into their profession usually still owing for their degrees which is mandatory to get their jobs. The Superintendent and all of his Assistant Superintendents make 110-130K. They have directors and such making 75-90K. This organization is obviously upside down in how it pays its staff. With the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, Executive Directors, Directors, and their secretaries making so much money is is no wonder there isn't enough money to pay the teachers like they should. It is clear now why the Superintendent and his secretary had the time. The Board shouldn't think everyone who votes automatically believes what they say. There are those of us that look at the record and operate with common sense.

Part of the plan

NC needs to get rid of good teachers and anyone with college degrees so we can turn this state into a utopia for the 1%.

No environmental regulations, an uneducated work force that will take whatever they can get at low-paying service/retail jobs and a tax haven for the rich!

Get out of our way or get on board! And we'll tell you JEEEEEZUS is on our side!

What the hell???

What are you smoking? Your comment is so full of crap that my screen turned brown and smelled! How do you take this situation and try and turn it on republicans and Christians? Democrats have had control of this state for over 100 years and got us to this point. There is now a republican governor and suddenly everything is bad overnight according to you fools. Nobody is chasing teachers out the door or trying to deregulate anything. It is democrats who are trying to bring companies like Titan into the area and do as much uncontrolled development along the waterways as possible. Conservatives are about teaching the things that really need to be taught in school rather than democratic dogma. I saw nowhere in the article where Jesus was mentioned...maybe if He had been paid more attention we wouldn't have an executive assistant getting paid thousands in bonuses for "outside experience"...I am sure that is completely aboveboard...nothing to see here...

NHC School pays high secretaries salaries

The school board said the $6,000 salary increase Baltezeger received in June 2013, was a due to outside experience credit. This credit was not introduced to teachers until July 2013 and was to be retroactive to July after employment proof was verified. The question is how did Baltezegar get a salary increase before teachers had the opportunity to do the same?

Secretary salaries

It is an outrage and a smack in the face to teachers that secretaries earn more for doing less, yes less work. Maybe teachers should apply for the secretarial positions when they become available after all, it was us who taught them how to type and answer a phone properly!

NHCS secretary salaries

The outside experience credit program was introduced back in 2007 for all classified employees (teacher assistants, support associates, custodians, etc). It was submitted to the Board for approval but was declined due to budget cuts. Each budget year since this time, the Board has considered the outside work experience credit but it was not approved until this budget year, 2013-2014. Since 2007, no classified employees have received a pay increase, until now.

I am a support associate/secretary with the school system, with a college degree, and I make no where near what the CO Administrative Assistants make, even with the credit for prior work experience.

Let's remember why this discussion all started in the first place and not condemn the NHCS employees who work hard each day and uphold higher moral and ethical standards than the leadership of this school system.

You have a College Degree ,Stephanie Does Not

You have a college degree and yet you do not make what Stephanie makes(over 75K ) There is definitely something wrong with this situation. I know you and many others in our school system work very hard , thank you.

Feel the wrath

Don Hayes has every right to stonewall but do not whine when the voters ( the taxpayer) shows up to give you the boot! You are a disgrace to public education! By declaring it a personnel matter does not relief you of your moral responsibility , which is reasonable to question. Infidelity takes place every day everywhere BUT the absurd salaries will be what leads to the NHC Board of Education' s demise. By not squaring with the public because you and the rest of your gang were finally exposed for poor judgement is a problem that will not be wished away with time. Your plight mirrors that of the ABC board and we all know how that turned out. High school educated secretaries , regardless of this additional ambiguous BS training , does not wash. Give WWAY a list of school employees , who have received a 100 percent pay increase like the superintendent's girlfriend / secretary. Bet you will find no one who has received such compensation. Time to tear down this little cliche' at central office and it all starts with a cooperative board , which we do not have presently. You made your bed so be prepared to lay in it!


Wrightsboro Elementary School Prinicpal recently decided that School Buses cannot unload students at the same time. They make each bus sit while one bus unloads. Then they call up the next bus and make it wait 3 minutes before it can unload. Meanwhile, the buses are idling, burning gas and the drivers getting paid for sitting. In turn this delays the school bus for there next run and causes other schools to get late students.

This along with Central Staff is the decision making at our schools. Poor kids, they do not have a chance!

In my opinion, that

In my opinion, that principal is totally wrong. Maybe someone a little more competent needs to assume his position. Kids spend more than enough time on a bus as it is. Maybe his idea is to lessen the possibility of a child being run over by a bus, but there are better ways to do this.

A shame!!!!!!!

It does not surprise me a at all that Mrs.Hall will implement something as this. This is a very minute situation when we compare other things that is going on at the school. Lets talk about her having over half of her students, African American and presently she has no Certified African American employed in her school( Two African American females teacher assistants to be exact). Several African Americans have submitted resumes and did not even get a call for an interview for positions that were filled this school year!!! I guess she can justify that too , Yeah Right!!!!!!

Who'd a thunk it?

I didn't know you had to be certified to be an African American!

Who'd a thunk it?

re: A shame!!!!!!!

If several white folks had applied and not been called for an interview, would you have described them as "Caucasian"? Enough with the race card! For what it's worth, African American is in African-American.

So what if they weren't called for an interview. The Principal doesn't have to justify to you or anyone else who does and who doesn't get called for an interview. You, on the other hand, seem to feel that being black should provide an individual with special privileges as it pertains to employment in this case.

"African American" or "African-American" ?

Actually both are correct. If you Google it up, you'll find a slightly higher percentage of the use of “African American". Ohio State University, for instance has a "Department of African American and African Studies".

Of course, this whole politically correct labeling thing is totally bizarre. Are Arabs from North Africa who reside in the U.S. "African American" or are they Arabs, and if so why? What about "Whites"? Why are they just labeled by skin color? Isn't that why blacks aren't labeled by skin color anymore; because it's discriminatory? Why don't "Whites" get a special title too? Maybe they should be called "European Americans", or maybe "Caucasian Americans", or maybe that should be reserved just for people from the Caucasus mountain region of Eastern Europe. And what about Asians? It just doesn't seem fair that a group of people whose residence covers such a huge part of our planet shouldn't have more regional distinctions as well. To not do that is to say that all Asians are alike and that's just darn politically incorrect!

Maybe we should just assign numbers to various ethnic groups. Now that I think about it, that won't work either, because everybody wants to be number one.

That's the trouble with political correctness. The more you stir it up, the murkier it gets.


I beg to differ.
The use of hyphens is critical in the English language.

It denotes the importance of mixed heritage and indicates the person using the hyphen to be of great importance.
Just ask hyphen lady at the Chamber of Commerce (For the uninitiated - Connie Majeure-Rhett) who believes that the Hyphenated name and a 6 figure salary gives credence to her importance to the community.........

In THAT vein I propose a change to your moniker, you should change it to Chef-n-Surf.

Doesn't that make you feel more important?






Good reply....

My genealogy precedes the Revolutionary War in do I have to label myself as Scotch-Irish-Cherokee-DAR-American? Uh, no, and neither do African Americans. More than likely, their families have been in America as long as mine.

Mr. Hayes I work at UNCW and

Mr. Hayes I work at UNCW and there are no administrative assistant salaries in that level at UNCW.

how low can you go?

So, has teacher morale across the state, and this county in particular, completely evaporated yet? Let's Race to the Bottom!!!