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District 5: Home of the $136K Teacher

Many teachers move into administration to earn more money. For at least one administrator, though, getting back into teaching has proven no less lucrative.

Lee Bollman went from being the chief instructional services officer of Lexington/Richland School District 5 in 2008-09 to splitting time teaching science at a pair of district schools this year.

But he’s still pulling in an administrator’s salary despite the reduction in responsibilities.

In fact, Bollman may be the best-paid science teacher in all South Carolina, earning $136,128 annually, according to the S.C. Midlands Salary Database. In addition, his benefits equal 28 percent of his salary, meaning Bollman’s total compensation is nearly $174,250.

In fairness to Bollman, who splits time between Chapin Middle School and Chapin High School, his contract includes not only the standard 190-day teaching schedule, but an additional 50-day supplemental assignment agreement.

Still, his salary not only makes him the third-highest paid employee in Lexington/Richland School District 5 – behind only Superintendent Herb Berg and District Human Resources Director Angela Bain – but means Bollman earns substantially more than the two principals he works under.

Chapin High School Principal Michael Satterfield earns $114,029 while Chapin Middle School Principal Jane Crawford makes $99,602.

By comparison, the average salary for public school teachers in South Carolina was a little more than $47,400 in FY08-2009, according to the S.C. Department of Education.

While Lexington/Richland 5 is one of the more affluent districts in the state, it’s not been unaffected by the recent financial downturn. Last year the district eliminated more than 60 teaching jobs.

But that was as much the result of flattening enrollment within the district as financial shortcomings, District 5 spokesman Buddy Price said.

Bollman has been a top official with District 5 for several years, even serving as interim superintendent in 2005, following Dennis McMahon’s dismissal by the district board.

Bollman also assumed day-to-day management responsibilities the following year when interim superintendent TEC Dowling became ill.

In 2006, Bollman was one of nine candidates considered for the superintendent’s position, which eventually went to Scott Andersen.

Bollman joined District 5 two decades ago when he left a private school in Beaufort County. He became Chapin Middle’s first principal in January 1991.

He was promoted to District 5’s administrative offices in 2003 by McMahon.

Bollman, who could not be reached for comment, began teaching at Chapin High and Chapin Middle this school year.

Last year, he served as the district’s chief instructional services officer. In April, he requested to be released from that assignment, effective April 1, 2009, according to information from the district.

Bollman then performed responsibilities assigned by the district superintendent for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year.

Satterfield, the principal at Chapin High, confirmed that Bollman’s only duties at his school are teaching science, while Crawford, the Chapin Middle School principal, referred questions regarding Bollman to District 5’s human resources department.

Bollman’s assignment for the current school year includes a supplemental agreement which calls for him to work assignments determined by the superintendent, including "program design and curriculum for the proposed Career and Technical Education Center," according to the district.

In future years, Bollman’s salary will be commensurate with his position and experience, rather than based on what he was making as an administrator, the district added.

Reach Dietrich at (803) 779-5022, ext. 110, or at kevin@scpolicycouncil.com.

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