As many public school superintendents were criticized last week for their inflated salaries, Tiverton's head of school quietly forfeited a 3 percent salary increase guaranteed in his salary.
Since 2009, Supt. William J. Rearick has accepted a zero percent salary increase even though his contract has a built in raise of 3 percent annually.
"Every year I take a zero because that's that the teachers have taken," said Rearick.
Through the end of the 2012-13 school year, Rearick will not accept a raise on his base salary of $122,923. Over the next two years of his contract, Rearick's salary will see a 1.75 percent increase and he will be awarded a $900 stipend. These increases mirror those accepted in the teacher's contract in August by the local teacher's union and School Committee.
"I think its important that as the leader of the district I don't ask my employees to do anything I wouldn't do," said Rearick. "I want to lead through example."
Rearick's salary is below the state average of $135,535. Rearick's salary is also tens of thousands below the salaries of his counterparts in Tiverton's mirror districts of Burrillville, Middletown, Coventry and Cumberland. These districts are similar to Tiverton in terms of size, demographics and socioeconomic status.School District Superintendent Salary Burrillville Frank Pallotta $131,000 Coventry Michael Convery $130,000 Cumberland Philip Thornton $155,000 Middletown Rosemarie K. Kraeger $154,059 Tiverton William J. Rearick $122,923
Besides schools like Little Compton, Jamestown and New Shoreham who have limited school services and size, Rearick's salary is the lowest in the state besides Johnston Supt. Bernard DiLullo, Jr. He earns $119,456.
"It helps build a sense of community and makes us work more as a unit as opposed to in corporate America where CEOs make all of the money and lay people off," said Rearick.
Rearick announced at the Tues. Sept. 25 School Committee meeting that he would forfeit the increase.
"For starters I want to thank Mr. Rearick for doing that, and another example of your leadership," said Jan Bergandy, school committee member. "I think we should truly appreciate that under these circumstances. Basically you are entitled to that and I just want to say how much i appreciate it and how it is consist with everything you have done so far."
Rearick started with the district in 1998, where he was the principal until 2003 before being promoted to superintendent.