Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III, who received a 10 percent salary increase last year, could receive another pay raise at the next School Board meeting.
School Board members met behind closed doors for about 2 1/2 hours Tuesday to conduct Hatrick's annual evaluation. But no decision was made about a raise, said board Chairman Joseph W. Vogric (Dulles).
The board will reconvene in closed session at its July 13 meeting to discuss a salary increase, which must be voted on in public. Personnel matters are considered confidential so board members would not provide details about Hatrick's evaluation, except that a raise is under consideration.
"Board members were happy overall with the superintendent's performance," Vogric said.
Hatrick, 53, makes $120,000 a year. Superintendents in nearby districts typically make more. Fairfax County Superintendent Daniel A. Domenech is paid $159,000 to run the 155,000-student district. The 40,000-student school district in Howard County pays Superintendent Michael E. Hickey $134,246 annually.
Alexandria Superintendent Herbert Berg has a base salary of $121,000. His district has 10,000 students, less than half of Loudoun's enrollment of 26,000.
School Board member D. Kim Price-Munoz (Sterling) said she will vote against a salary increase for Hatrick that exceeds 5 percent. But she said he is underpaid when compared with his colleagues in the region.
"You bet he is, as is everybody else in the system," Price-Munoz said, citing teachers and secretaries. "In my mind, it's just wrong" to increase his salary without giving more to other employees, she added.
Price-Munoz, an elementary school teacher in Fairfax, is Hatrick's most vocal critic on the board, frequently questioning him at public meetings. She said he is a strong advocate for Loudoun schools.
"Overall, he does quite well," she said. "He's a good superintendent, and he represents our system well."
She also said that sometimes "he appears to be unwilling to listen to anyone's solutions other than his own."
Hatrick drew praise from Kelly Burk, president of the Loudoun Education Association. In the last year, she said, he has been communicating more with teachers, often showing up at school faculty meetings to chat and hear their concerns.
His biggest test is handling the mushrooming school enrollment that makes Loudoun the fastest-growing school district in the Washington area and the third fastest in the nation. Four new schools will open in September, and an additional 22 must be built in the next six years to handle the influx of students.
Keith Nusbaum, a parent activist in western Loudoun, gives Hatrick high marks for tackling the problems accompanied by rapid growth and his commitment to the district's older schools, some of which have a capacity of fewer than 300 students.
"I really admire his willingness to maintain small school sizes," Nusbaum said. "Politically it's a very tough decision to take, and . . . I hope he can maintain it."
Nusbaum said he hopes Hatrick can play a role in the often contentious relations between the School Board and the Board of Supervisors, particularly during budget negotiations. "We play this tennis game, and one side snarls at the other," he said. "The public doesn't like it."
Supervisors Chairman Dale Polen Myers (R-At Large) said that relationship is better than it was four years ago because of a joint committee of a few members of the two boards that meets regularly to iron out potential conflicts.
She said her board does not work directly with Hatrick, who was an assistant principal at Broad Run High School when Myers attended. "He's obviously an advocate for schools, as he should be," Myers said.
Supervisor Steven D. Whitener (R-Sugarland Run) was less enthusiastic. "He does an adequate job," he said. "I don't see him as a particular innovator."
Hatrick's review process begins with a written self-evaluation. He reports how he thinks he is carrying out a list of goals set by School Board members.
Each board member also fills out a form evaluating Hatrick, grading him on a scale of one to five in several categories and providing written comments. At the closed-door meeting, board members discuss their evaluation forms with Hatrick.
After the meeting, Vogric collects all the forms and summarizes the grades and the written comments. The summary is sent to Hatrick.
CAPTION: Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III had his annual evaluation Tuesday.