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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.



Gee, my wife volunteers for free at Brunswick County school because secretary was fired to keep full time deputy. Said didn't have money for both positions. How did they pay for it all the years before when they had both positions on? New Hanover county must have a secret gold mine. Thank you

Chairman Hayes Just "Stonewalling "

Chairman Hayes appeared a little angry tonight on the news report. Yes, they actually thought they could cover it up! I hope you will check on the salaries of secretaries at Cape Fear Community College and UNC- W that he mentioned were more than what teachers are paid.
Along with the salary amounts be sure and find out the educational requirements, college degree, etc. I don't believe any of these 6 ladies have a college degree and I'm certain the one making over 75k doesn't.
The Chair and others need to understand what this affair has done/ is doing to our community and our educational staff and send Markley on his way. I can't think of anything Markley has actually led on that amounts to being beneficial to our community and school system.

Another example of

Another example of incompetent reporting. You named the secretaries and their salaries. Now name the teachers you mentioned. How long had each been at their posts? What degrees and certifications do they have that would merit higher salaries?
Character assassination by innuendo with WWAY as the prime suspect.
How about doing some REAL investigation and get all the facts, not just the ones to pump up your hit piece.
There may be a problem their but WWAY's agenda driven reporting destroys its credibility with any one but the low info readers.

Your answer

Since you want a REAL report of teacher requirements and pay, I will give you mine:

Experience: 8 years in New Hanover County
Undergraduate degree: BA in Literature
BA in Journalism
Masters Degree: MA Literature
MA Teaching Secondary Literature
Licensures: Middle School Language Arts 6-8
Secondary English 9-12
Exceptional Children K-12
Pay: $36,330/ yr. plus the local 8% supplement, after taxes, 403B, insurance and SS, this means $2200/ month take home. having extra license areas does not mean that teachers get extra pay, I guess that isn't an important skill.

I work 80 plus hours every week. I am expected to plan lessons that address the varied learning styles of 106 students each day. I also attend IEP, 504 and behavioral interventions for them nearly daily. I grade work from each student and update grades at least twice a week in a system that is down more that it works. I spend 35 minutes of my day, each day, watching a hallway during lunch instead of eating my own lunch and I volunteer in the library during my planning so the librarian can eat.
I also attend extra curricular activities, meet with parents, research programs that will benefit my kids, find grants, scholarships and corporate charities that will sponsor classroom needs like books and supplies because we have not adopted new text books in 7 years and have limit funds for novels.
I love what I do. I love my students, my school and my co-workers. We have wonderful parents and a great administration, however, none of us have any illusions about the school board, the state board or the governor wanting what is best for us. None of us went into this for the money, but when I hear that the secretary at central office, with an associates from Miller Monte and a short skirt makes $40,000 more a year than I do, it is a slap in the face. Bravo to WWAY for outing it and shame on you for trying to point in every direction but the one that leads to change.

Thank you for your Dedication and Hard Work

I hate to tell you, but I don't believe the secretary making 75K has anything but a high school diploma, others may have Miler- Motte training , but I don't believe she does. I'd like to know the education background of all 6 of the top paid secretaries/ Adm Assistants.
I do not understand Mr. Hayes supporting the secretaries high salaries by saying , we want to be competitive with Corp. and others. I don't believe there is a shortage of secretaries ; however, I predict there will be a huge shortage of teachers in every area very soon.
I also believe it would be helpful to have the salaries schedules of Adm. Assistants at UNC- W and Cape Fear Community College. The University uses the title Assistant to the Chancellor to mean something entirely different than an office worker, ( if I'm not mistaken 2 of those individuals have Master's degrees and represent the Chancellor , they don't do office work) So, we need the salaries of the office workers.

how is this incompetent

how is this incompetent reporting? they are simply providing the facts available due to public records. you assume the rest of the news. are there some teachers in NHC making more than 50,000 a year, with a masters? try to go and find out. you have some facts, look for the others...

most informed citizens look at both sides of the story before forming an opion.

Diversity of Etnicity

Where are the African America people whom are well qualified for these positions, and are capable of doing them? All of the above are Caucasian.What has gotten into New Hanover County Schools. I respect Dr. Markley and embrace the change and everything he endeavors to do for our county schools.However, I do feel if it was someone of the African American race the story would be different and we would have been fired without further investigation. My prayer goes out to Dr.Markley,that he will get it together, because it will be a Sad Day if Rick Holiday gets in office. At lease, Dr.Markley is for all students and shows no prejudice. I earnestly believe that Rick Holiday is behind all of this to try and sneak in this position. Keep in mind, election is around the corner After all , Dr. Markley can not increase salaries on his own, it has to go before the board anyway!!! That is another subject!!!! This is not the first time that something like this has happen, it seems as if this is a repeated behavior!!! Lord Help us All!!!!!


Really, that's what you take away from this article? To immediately go to the race card? You are a complete racist. You have ignored the premise of the story and inducted race only into the thread. People like you are evil and pathetic.

THAT'S why you don't see "Africa America" people where you want to see them. Because, like it or not, they're just Americans, and they haven't put themselves in those positions. You don't see others voicing their "European American" status, or "I'm an Asian American". Get over it, such a racist.

Where are the African

Where are the African American people? Sitting back doing what they want because they and everyone else knows you can't say anything, even the truth, about an African American employee. Here comes the NAACP. I will be very surprised if this post is allowed.

Secretaries in School System.

I am a good secretary, can I get a job? In all honesty, I think money could be spent more wisely on teachers, teacher assistants, lunch menu upgrades and supplies. Upkeep of the schools is important also. Just saying my piece. I am from Wilmington but now live in a small town in Georgia. I don't have a job here because there are so few available. If I made $75,000 as a secretary, I would be considered the wealthiest secretary in the whole of Southwest Georgia. I am sure the duties these secretaries are undertaking are comparable to the work load of any around here that having to make it with $20,000 per year. I think this is a serious mismanagement of funds.

Those secretaries may have

Those secretaries may have been moved from a corporate office. We do a lot more than some other professions.



wonder what the lady on the

wonder what the lady on the bottom of the list thinks about someone making almost as twice as her? guess its all in who you are SEEING??? i know the teachers should go on strike or something. this is sad for the teachers and sad for the 2 that cant keep their hands to themselves by taking taxpayers money and getting paid waaaayyyyyy more than some principles i know. cant wait for the spin on this one???

Corp. Office? Not hardly !

Most if not all started working right out of high school. I don't believe any of the 6 have any college. Maybe Mr. Hayes will tell us tonight about their education .
I understand Corporate secretaries making more, that's a private company, they can pay whatever they desire. And, you're correct those secretaries have many more responsibilities than these women. Public dollars are paying these secretaries and I certainly don't believe any of them have the knowledge or skills of our teachers and educators who are paid far less. It is shameful where was the Bd. of Ed. when Stephanie salary was raised in July '13? We must get rid of those 2 old men this election. There's an old woman that should also go but she was elected last year to serve until she's 82 !


This is my 16th year as a teacher in NHC. I don't make as much as any of these ladies. How is it that teachers, assistants, even administrators are on a standardized pay scale, but these women get random raises? Do they have state mandated evaluations? Yet the children are the priority, right? It looks to me like the bigwigs at Central Office make sure their secretaries are taken care of, but pay the people in the trenches peanuts. It is disgusting that between my husband and I we have to work 4 jobs to bring in as much as Dr. Markley's mistress. Looks like I should have listened to my grandmother and taken up typing....

If you are working 4 jobs,

If you are working 4 jobs, you are attempting to live beyond your means. Make your lifestyle fit your income, not the other way around. As for comparing secretaries to teachers, that is like comparing apples and oranges. For whatever reason, teachers have been put on pedestals, simply because they are entrusted to teach children. Should a 20 year teaching veteran who has consistantly turned out first rate students make as much as a secretary who has worked as such for 4 years? Yes, he should make more. Should a 5 year teaching veteran who does not really have what it takes to convey knowledge make as much as a 15 year secretary with excellent job skills? No, he should not. Think about it.

Living beyond her means?

Living beyond her means? Lets do the math. House/ Rent 900 electric 100 water/trash/ sewer 100 phone 100 car ins 100 health ins 400 gas 100 groceries 200 = 2000 a month in expenses. As a 13 year teacher breaking my paycheck up over 12 months I bring in 2100 a month. There is no room to get sick to visit family go to a movie, replace worn out clothes. Yea working beyond her means having to work 4 jobs. Nice try buddy.

Teachers Have at Least a 4 Year College Degree

Secretaries are not required to have any college. I know some of the finest teachers who have taught in some of the poorest schools. Did they turn out first rate students compared to the students the wealthier schools turned out, no. Did their students show progress in a year, absolutely and they continued to progress. Were those teachers horrible teachers because their students didn't make top scores , no . Were the teachers at the wealthier school the better teachers because their students made some of the highest scores in the district , absolutely not.
I don't think you can compare the worth of a secretary against that of a teacher. A secretary learns a skill and typically stays with it, the teacher must constantly change to accommodate each of the 25+ students in their class ( or 100+ at the Middle and high school ), differentiated learning I believe it's called.
If a teacher can't teach they should be relieved of their duties; however, I believe in a few short years this state will be begging for teachers.
I admire someone who is working to improve their lifestyle, maybe they are trying to save money to buy a home. I doubt they are working 4 jobs so they can drive a Porsche.

schools wasting money? no

schools wasting money? no way! i thought they were broke?! they don't seem to understand that every penny counts. imagine the money saved over the past 15 years in every computer in the district was only turned on while in use, lights were turned off at night, AC was bumped up a couple of degrees (especially in the summer. c'mon these people wear sweaters to work in july). imagine if the buses ran shorter distances, and that money could be used on, say classroom instruction.

wonder what it would be like if when a school was given a grant for something, they didnt have to use that money within the year. sure would result in some more space in the supply closets.

public education officials dont realize just how much money they have. the unfortunately just dont use it wisely (to be fair, they dont always have the most discretion either...)

Organizational Chart

If there are 60 Administrative Assistants (wow), I'd really like to see the entire Organizational Chart. The teachers and school secretaries must be beside themselves.

More than some principals and assistant superintendents!

More than some teachers?
Try more than some principals and area superintendents.
WWAY should collect the salaries of principals and assistant superintendents in the area to compare to.
I know my principal makes around $61K.

This is sickening.

These Secretaries probaby don't have College Degrees

Ask The School Board Chair Hayes if Stephanie and others have a college Degree or any college. This is shameful , They gave a certain number of people the opportunity to receive credit for menial work before they came into the school system , teachers don't receive any opportunities like that . How about giving them credit for the 2nd job they have to pay the bills or the Summer work they must take to support their families.
Even the secretaries in the schools have more responsibilities than these central Office secretaries. And, they didn't even get to apply for the recent job openings that were created because they were shuffling Stephanie around.
Will Chairman Hayes tell tales again tonight ?

Please don't replace the problem

Please don't replace the problem with a bigger one!
Ask the teachers and administrators in confidence and they don't want anybody down there as a replacement!
I don't care who anybody chooses as a bed buddy, but don't hire from within that Peyton Place!

Please listen to the worker bees!