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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We’re learning more about a process intended to help school districts recruit workers.

New Hanover County Schools adopted its Outside Work Experience plan back in 2006. Now we know how many people it has impacted.

“It makes it difficult for us as a school system to pay the salaries that private industry can pay,” New Hanover County School Board Chair Don Hayes told us in October.

The goal of the program is to attract and keep certain school district employees. Both New Hanover County Schools and Brunswick County Schools have adopted the Outside Work Experience plan.

Click here to see the list of Outside Work Experience recipients

Hayes said the plan was intended to give credit to classified employees, like secretaries or technicians, for work they have done before being hired by the district.

“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,” he said during the October interview.

And it pays to have outside work experience in the county.

A graduation coach at Hoggard High School with 20 years of outside experience brings in an extra $675 a month thanks to the credit.

A maintenance project coordinator for the district got $1,147 extra each month for his 32 years of experience.

As we told you last fall, Superintendent Tim Markley’s former secretary, with whom sources say he has had a personal relationship, makes an extra $468 a month for her eight years of outside experience.

Nearly 260 school district employees have received Outside Work Experience pay increases since 2007, according to records WWAY received through a public records request. In addition to the technical jobs, many are for support associates and teacher assistants.

Hayes says the board has not formally discussed changing the policy.

The salaries range from a 27-cent per hour increase for an after school group leader to the $1,147 a month for the maintenance project administrator.

Comment on this Story

  • 111guest

    As with every job, the actual performance depends upon the individual and his/her dedication to results. Some grad coaches may not do much, but the one at NHHS is fantastic. I have witnessed her scooping up countless kids in despair from terrible economic or abusive situations, and providing support and connections to resources on many levels. Most of the kids take the opportunity and graduate. She does home visits, delivers food and supplies to kids who are essentially on their own, and offers course credit counseling, just to scratch the surface. Many of these kids are in tough situations through no account of their own, and she provides a way out for them via guidance and empowerment to realize high school graduation.
    For many kids, a graduation coach is a cross between a guidance counselor and a parent/guardian that might not otherwise be around. Thank goodness for the graduation coach at NHHS!

  • Guest2020

    What exactly is a graduation coach?

  • Teacher

    A “graduation coach” is supposed to help struggling students graduate. In the past 5 years, from what I’ve seen, they don’t do much. Maybe if I take my 15 years of teaching experience and become a teacher’s assistant, they will count my 15 years of outside experience? Ha…nope. Disgusting.

  • Vog46

    Appears on to be a good idea up front it has made me think that it is also a way for various department heads to interpret “outside relevant work experience” differently – which in turn could lead to situations similar to those between Markley and his Sexetary.
    As public servants county employees especially Managers, should show the highest levels of integrity and so far Markley has failed miserably at that so now I’m hesitant to endorse this idea.


  • Guest2020

    I thought it was something like that.


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