Superintendent salaries continue to skyrocket


Back in 2018, there were 14 school superintendents in Georgia making north of $250,000.

By 2023, that number had grown to 35. Included was Baldwin County School District Superintendent Noris Price, whose salary during the 2023 fiscal year checked in at $329,681, which was the 14th-highest among Georgia superintendents, which equates to the top 8 percentile. Price's annual salary has risen roughly $140,000 in the last five years, according to Open Georgia.

Listed below is some data for perspective. The dollar amounts represent each superintendent's "salary" and do not include "travel allotment." For example, Price's travel allotment during the most recent fiscal year was $12,758 (the sixth most out of the 180-something superintendents listed by Open Georgia). However, that travel did not count towards her salary.  Meanwhile, the number of "students" listed below is based on the Georgia Department of Education's most recent FTE "head count" from back in October:

1. Christopher G. Ragsdale // Cobb County School District // $479,051.11 // 106,358 students

2. Calvin J. Watts // Gwinnett County Board of Education // $452,710 // 182,214 students

3. Michael Looney // Fulton County Board of Education // $452,315.79 // 88,043 students

4. Vasanne S. Tinsley // Dekalb County Board of Education // $415,866.09 // 91,398 students

5. Brian Van Hightower // Cherokee County Board of Education // $392,752.12 // 42,016 students

6. Marie A. Levett // Savannah/Chatham County Board of Education // $391,937.09 // 35,781 students

7. Lisa N. Herring // Atlanta Independent School System // $381,762.00 // 49,660 students

8. Trent T. North // Douglas County Board of Education // $370,843.06 // 25,770 students

9. Mark D. Albertus // City of Carrollton Board of Education // $365,098.23 // 5,752 students

10. Nathan D. Franklin // Walton County Board of Education // $362,117.64 // 14,629 students

11. Mary E. Davis // Henry County Board of Education // $350,034.42 // 43,258 students

12. Mark A. Scott // Houston County Board of Education // $342,016.92 // 30,286 students

13. Jeffrey B. Bearden // Forsyth County Board of Education // $335,057.57 // 54,984 students

14. Noris F. Price // Baldwin County Board of Education // $329,681.89 // 4,588 students

15. Anthony W. Smith // Clayton County Board of Education // $323,981.70 // 50,832 students

***NOTE: Two superintendents ranked near the top were not listed above, as their contracts were "bought out" by their respective school districts after parting ways. The buyout money was listed as part of their salaries. Those two superintendents were Rickey Edmond in Washington County and James Pulos in McIntosh County

The Baldwin County School District is the smallest on the list. Only one other school system – the City of Carrolton school system – is in the same ballpark. Some of the school systems on the list are 10, 20 or even 30 times larger than the Baldwin County School District.

Price previously was honored as the Georgia School Board Association's 2021 Superintendent of the Year, and she then moved on to the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year competition.


Also of note, Price's administrative assistant – Gina Whitaker – was the 14th-highest paid "superintendent secretary" in Georgia during the most recent fiscal year, according to Open Georgia. Whitaker's salary was listed as $82,644. Roughly three dozen "superintendent secretaries" on the list made less than half that amount. 

The 13 administrative assistants who made more than Whitaker during the 2023 fiscal year all hailed from much larger school districts.

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