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Making the grade

Published: Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 3:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 11:25 a.m. CDT

Editor’s note: This is the sixth and final in a multi-part series on the 2012 Illinois Report Card.

Area schools have received their report cards, and the results showed how our students are doing in math, reading, science and writing.

But while the school report cards show the results of how students are performing on standardized tests, they also tell us about the teachers who are educating our kids.

Which schools have teachers with years of experience, and how many schools have numerous teachers with master’s degrees?

Which teachers and administrators are earning significant salaries, and which are just getting by?

How did your school district’s teachers measure up last spring?

Average years teaching experience

Most of Bureau County’s teachers have been in the classroom for many years. In 12 of the county’s school districts, teachers have been teaching longer than the 12.9 years that is the state average. This year, Malden knocked the Hall High School District off the top of the list with Malden teachers having an average of 18.1 years of experience, compared to Hall’s second place 18.0. Bureau Valley once again comes in third, with an average of 17.6 years.

On the other end of the spectrum is the DePue School District where teachers have an average of 9.5 years experience.

Years of higher education

Across the state, 61.7 percent of all teachers have obtained a master’s degree, about 1 percentage point higher than last year. That percentage drops in Bureau County with no school districts exceeding that percentage. The district with the highest percentage of teachers with master’s degrees is Princeton Elementary with 60.4 percent of the teachers having earned their master’s degree. Hall High School comes in second with 60.0 percent.

The district with the lowest percentage was Leepertown, where none of the teachers had a master’s degree.

Only DePue had any teachers with emergency or provisional credentials, at 0.9 percent, as opposed to 0.7 percent across the state.

Teachers salaries

Once again this year, teachers at two of the county’s districts earn more than the state average of $66,614. Princeton High School teachers earn an average salary of $76,291, up about $1,600 from 2011. Coming in second is Hall High School, where the teachers earn an average of $72,581, more than $4,300 more than last year’s average of $68,262 and more than $15,000 more than just two years ago in 2010.

The lowest average salary is earned by teachers in the Dalzell district with an average salary of just $37,813, followed by Cherry with an average salary of $41,232.

Administrators salaries

Administrators’ salaries lagged behind the state average in all but three Bureau County school districts. Hall High School — where Mike Struna was both superintendent and principal last year — led the way with an average administrator’s salary of $129,120. Hall was followed by the Ladd School District where Michelle Zeko filled both the superintendent and principal positions. Ladd’s average administrator’s salary was $116,948, and the average at Princeton High School was $112,289, just above the state average of $110,870.

The lowest average was again found in Dalzell with interim Superintendent Bruce Bauer, where the average administrator salary was $47,260.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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