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Lorain schools HR director receives $20K raise

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LORAIN -- The Chief People Officer received a more than $20,000 total pay raise, the treasurer confirmed Tuesday.

During the Board of Education meeting, treasurer Josh Hill confirmed Jacqueline Younker, Chief People Officer for the school district, received a $15,000 base salary increase and $5,400 annuity bump, taking her entire IRS-taxed salary to $128,900. Under the chiefs' contract, they have the option of rolling the annuity into a retirement investment, or taking it as part of their salary, Hill explained.

The People Office handles human resources duties for the district. Younker is the head of the department.

Younker, who has been with the district since March 12, 2018, made a base salary of $103,500 last year, with a $5,000 annuity. Her new salary is $118,500 with a $10,400 annuity.

Under the previous pay scale, she was the lowest-paid chief besides CEO David Hardy's chief of staff Elena Rivera. The increase takes her to the same base salary as treasurer/chief strategy and innovation officer Josh Hill, chief of operations Jeff Hawks and chief family officer Arliss Prass. Her annuity was bumped to the same level as Hill's and is now higher than Hawks' $5,000 and Prass' $7,500. Per Hill's contract, his annuity cannot be given out in addition to his salary.

The increase also puts her higher on the pay scale than chief equity and achievement officer Kenan Bishop, who makes a base salary of $113,000 with a $5,000 annuity.

Her contract runs through Dec. 31, 2020.

This is not the first time Younker's raise has come into question during a board meeting, as member Tim Williams pointed out.

"I'm just simply stating, the question has been asked a bunch of times, how much was the raise," Williams said to Hill. "No one has said the answer to it."

Hill replied, "And up until this point, there was nothing formal that I could. Now that it's been made formal that's why I supplied the information."

In other news

The board did not take further action regarding Hill's employment with the district. He accepted a position with South Euclid Lyndhurst Schools last month, but the Board is attempting to hold him to his contract with Lorain Schools, citing his departure this close to the start of the school year is harmful to the district.

Hill is slated to start at South Euclid Lyndhurst Monday.

Hill also explained to the board the fluctuation in enrollment the district sees over the summer and toward the beginning of the school year. While it normally settles down in mid-October, enrollment numbers provided as of Aug. 1 caused some confusion among Board members.

Data provided by Hill showed compared with Aug. 1, 2018, the district has seen a total increase of 205 students, with losses only at the high school (-50) and New Beginnings Academy (-24).

Williams was critical of the information provided, stating it didn't answer the board's or public's questions. The board and members of the public have stated they heard this summer has seen an exodus of students from the district.

Hill said in order to get the board and public a true comparison of enrollment, the data he provides would include everything -- withdrawals, additions, and open enrollment -- but noted during the registration period the number of students can change drastically day-to-day until students are settled in their districts.

He explained some of the confusion comes from students who leave the district but do not file the proper withdrawal paperwork -- a problem he speculated every district in the state has, saying often parents will scramble to quickly file enrollment papers with a child's new school, but neglect to un-enroll them in the old one.

There is a public meet with Board of Education members, hosted by state Rep. Joe Miller, D-Amherst, 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 at St. Lad's Club, 4221 Clinton Ave.

The next regular board meeting is 5 p.m. Aug. 27 in the high school media center.

Contact Carissa Woytach at 329-7245 or cwoytach@chroniclet.com.
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