Rowan-Salisbury Schools News: Governor visits Knox, Superintendent announces $3.3 million in staff bonuses

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 12:18 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - On the same morning that Governor Roy Cooper visited Knox Middle School, the Rowan-Salisbury School Board announced it had approved bonuses of $3.3 million for employees.

Governor Cooper visited Knox so that he could personally meet math teacher Felecia Young and visit her classroom.

Young captured Cooper’s attention during the pandemic with her creative and educational TikTok videos, and he specifically mentioned her work in his North Carolina State of the State Address on April 26, 2021.

On Thursday, Young was able to persuade Cooper, Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington, and Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander to make their own video showing them dancing out of the classroom.

“Her excitement, her ability to make learning fun is the secret here,” Cooper said. “She made her students learn things sometimes by accident even if they didn’t want to because of the songs she made up…gave me a taste of the fun that she had.”

“Mrs. Young represents excellence in what we strive to be as extraordinary in all that we do,” Watlington said.

Cooper also used the occasion to say that he supports raises for teachers and for school staff across the state. He also encouraged North Carolinians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Get your shots everybody. Our vaccines are the way out of this pandemic, Cooper said. “It’s so wonderful to get back into the schools again. One of the best things that I enjoyed the most as Governor is coming in our public schools frequently, talking to students, talking to teachers and principals, about the things that they are doing to help educate our children. This last 15-16 months has been so hard on so many people.”

After Cooper’s remarks, Dr. Watlington took to the podium to announce that the Rowan-Salisbury School Board had approved $3.3 million in bonuses. The Board approved the bonus payment “as a special thank you for all the staff have done to maintain extraordinary educational opportunities for students every day during such a challenging and unprecedented year.”

Non-certified staff will receive a one-time bonus of 6.5% of annual base salary. Certified staff and district leaders (certified and classified) will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000. The bonus structure is designed “to show the Board’s gratitude by providing significant monetary support to classified staff whose steps have been frozen for many years and have not seen raises.”

“We are conducting a salary study as a part of the strategic planning process and maintain our commitment to take a broader look at all salaries as part of our strategic planning process to examine salaries for classified and certified staff in comparison with our other ten benchmark districts,” stated Dr. Watlington.

Each employee will receive the one-time bonus in their June 23 paycheck.

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