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12 Warwick school administrators may get raises for efforts after 2018 crash killed 2 students

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The Warwick school board plans to reward a dozen administrators with raises for their efforts after last October’s crash at the high school that killed two students and seriously injured a third.

The move has upset some in the community, and the board plans to respond prior to Tuesday’s vote.

Superintendent April Hershey, who earns $179,900, would receive a 1.5% raise, and 11 others would receive 1% raises. Their current salaries range from $145,230 to $84,456, according to the district.

The board meeting agenda says the raises would be “in recognition of the efforts of these administrators during the tragic events of this past fall.”

Hershey told LNP the board proposed the raises after considering ways to recognize administrators.

School leaders were involved in vigils, memorial services, counseling sessions and other activities in the wake of the Oct. 26 crash that killed 17-year-old Meghan Keeney and 16-year-old Jack Nicholson. A 63-year-old motorist is awaiting trial on third-degree murder and related charges.

Board president Michael Landis said he will reserve comment for the 7 p.m. Tuesday board meeting.

Tom Benjamin of Lititz, a 1984 Warwick graduate and father of two graduates, said the raises appear inappropriate.

“I don’t understand why they would need to do this,” Benjamin said. “No one should benefit from this tragedy at all. I don’t understand how money got into this related to school administrators. It seems to leave a lot of people out of the picture: teachers, community members.”

Benjamin, a former volunteer fire fighter, said first responders would have expected nothing more than expressions of gratitude for their service and sympathy for having to witness such a tragedy.

Hershey in an email to LNP said the board is aware of the community response and intends to provide more information at Tuesday's meeting.

Hershey said the administrative evaluation system allows the board to provide up to 2% additional compensation “for work above and beyond the normal scope of responsibilities.”

The proposed increase would be in addition to a yearly performance-based increase of up to 3.5%.

Hershey said the board’s authority for bonus compensation is limited to administrators only.