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St. John coaches getting more pay

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / April 22, 1998

RESERVE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board has decided thatcoaching supplements will be paid by a percentage method – a change that will cost the board an extra $33,000.

For the past 13 years supplements have been paid on a sliding scale based on the number of years they have coached.

“It is very difficult to calculate,” Alfred Donaldson, director of personnel, said.

Now supplements will be paid to coaches on a percentage basis, instead of a lump sum that may not coincide with their regular salary.

Donaldson said salaries have increased about 60 percent over 13 years, but supplements have remained the same. Now if coaches get a raise ontheir regular salary, their coaching supplement will also increase because it is a percentage of that salary.

Athletic directors will get a 14 percent supplement if they coach over 1,000 students and 13 percent if they coach less than 1,000.

Head coaches of a major sport will get an extra 7 percent, and minor sport head coaches and ninth-grade head coaches will get a 5 percent supplement. Assistant coaches of a major sport will get a 5 percentsupplement, and minor sport assistant coaches will get 4 percent.

Junior High head coaches are paid $400 a sport now and with the percentage supplement they would also see a raise. Junior high headcoaches would get a 4 percent supplement, and assistant coaches would get a 3 percent supplement.

But every coach in the parish has a maximum percentage they can reach before their percentage is no longer boosted in case they coach several sports.

Athletic directors who coach over 1,000 students can’t exceed 29 percent, and those who coach under 1,000 students can’t get more than 28 percent.

High school coaches can’t get more than 16 percent, and junior high coaches can’t exceed 10 percent.

Three percent is added to head coaches of major sports if they attend summer football camp and training, and 1 percent is tacked on if head coaches of minor sports, ninth-grade coaches and assistant coaches of major sports attend these camps and training sessions.

The proposal, although it will increase the amount of the supplements, is not designed to give coaches a raise.

“It simply reestablishes the way we pay coaches,” Donaldson said. “It’snot an increase.”Wendy Boldizar, president of the St. John Association of Educators,doesn’t see it that way.

“I want to thank you for looking at something that needs to be looked at,” Boldizar said. “But I have some reservations. We are looking at classes ofemployees and not a whole salary scheme. There are other extra curricularevents that staff members have been supporting for a long time that have not gotten any pay for, such as dance team. I kind of think maybe this isnot the best time for this to be happening.”C.J. Watkins, board member and personnel committee member, said thecommittee figures that all of the other employees have gotten pay improvements over 13 years, except for the coaches.

“We never did anything about the coaching supplements,” Watkins said.

“We are constantly looking for new coaches because everyone within 100 miles makes more. We are losing coaches to St. James, Orleans andJefferson. We have to be competitive.”Watkins also added that the last time the coaching supplements were changed was when Phil Brinkley was coaching at East St. John. “He ledEast St. John to their last championship,” Watkins said.James Madere, board member and personnel committee member, wanted to clear up any misunderstandings that anyone may have about the change.

“It’s a wage adjustment – not a salary increase,” he said.

The proposal passed by the board not only determined the new percentage method of calculating coaching supplements, but it also allotted a number of coaches at each school and defined, according to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, which are major sports.

Major sports are football, volleyball, track, basketball, baseball and softball.

The board allotted 30 coaches at East St. John, eight at the Glade, eight atLeon Godchaux Junior High School and 29 at West St. John – 23 high schooland six junior varsity.

A vote was taken and the proposal passed 10-0, with Russ Wise being absent.

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