- Published on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:11
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SALARY & BENEFITS
Benson’s starting salary is $134,400 for the first year along with additional benefits noted in his nine-page contract, including $5,000 per year to an annuity or deferred compensation plan. In addition, there is a complicated formula to convert unused vacation and sick leave towards Benson’s annuity at the end of each contract year.
The School Board will also provide $5,100 per year for a car allowance in addition to mileage reimbursement for business-related travel greater than 100 miles, and full family hospitalization and medical insurance. He will also get 20 days annual leave not counting legal holidays, 20 days of sick leave and all other benefits in the policy manual for other 12-month employees.
Benson is coming from the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. King George will certainly be a big contrast to the huge school district he is leaving.
Cobb County School District is the second largest in Georgia and the 26th largest in the nation, with more than 106,000 students in 114 schools in the Atlanta area.
But Benson is familiar with Virginia, where he spent 15 years in Prince William County, in the beginning of his teaching and administrative career. There he served as an elementary and high school music teacher, basketball and soccer coach, assistant principal of Stonewall Jackson High School, and then principal of C.D. Hylton High School.
Following that, Benson took his first position in Cobb County, Georgia, as a high school principal. In 2007, Mr. Benson was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction for the Cobb County School District.
Benson is coming to King George from his current position as an area assistant superintendent in Cobb County, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of 18 elementary, middle and high schools.
Benson is currently one of six such area assistant superintendents who work under a superintendent and in cooperation with a large senior staff that includes two deputy superintendents, a chief academic officer, a chief of staff, and chief financial officer.
As an area assistant superintendent, Benson has had responsibility for the primary operational, managerial, administrative, leadership development, and oversight for the 18 schools assigned to his K-12 cluster within the framework of Cobb’s school leadership division.
According to Benson’s bio, he and “his wife Shelley and son Samuel are absolutely thrilled to become part of the King George community and King George County Schools.”
He holds a Bachelor’s of Music from West Virginia University and a Master’s in Education Leadership from George Mason University. His bio also notes that he is completing requirements to earn a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Benson is a career educator with 23 years experience
Benson’s resume has been requested from the division, but not yet provided. The information is being drawn from a biographical account provided by Benson at Rose’s request, along with facts from the official Cobb County School District website, along with a copy of the employment contract supplied at Monday’s meeting.
The website notes that Cobb’s approved budget for the upcoming fiscal year is set at just under $850 million and calls for three furlough days for all employees, salary step reductions equivalent to a half-year for eligible employees and other budget adjustments.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH PROCESS
Benson was selected from a field of 23 applications received by the School Board’s March 30 deadline. Chairman Mike Rose said nine candidates had been interviewed, with the School Board narrowing the field to a final three applicants.
The action to hire Benson took place with only three of the five school board members present during a 20-minute special meeting on Monday evening, June 4. Most of it took place during a closed session for a final review of Benson’s contract.
Rose, John Davis and Kristen Tolliver were unanimous on the motion. Benson was not present.
During chit-chat prior to the start of the meeting, it was revealed that Ken Novell was not expected to attend due to a family commitment.
Rick Randall called Rose’s cell phone 10 minutes before the 6 p.m. meeting began, saying he had not yet left work in Dahlgren. The meeting had been scheduled the previous week on Wednesday.
Rose told The Journal he is intends to schedule a “hail and farewell” for both Benson and outgoing interim superintendent Stanley Jones at the end of the month for the community.