The Beaufort County Board of Education approved a five-year contract Tuesday night that would make Jeffrey Moss the next superintendent of schools at a base salary of $220,000.
Moss, currently superintendent of the 9,850-student Lee County Schools in Sanford, N.C., would become one of state's highest-paid superintendents. His base salary puts him ahead of school chiefs in larger districts including Greenville, Charleston, Horry County and Richland 2.
When other compensation is included -- such as annuity payments and an auto allowance -- Moss places sixth in the state, according to a comparison chart provided by the school district.
"The district is among the top 10 largest in the state, and felt it appropriate" that Dr. Moss' compensation reflect that, school board chairman Bill Evans said.
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"Plus, he has 15 years of experience as a superintendent," Evans said after the meeting. He said Moss' salary also factors in the high cost of living in the area and the size and complexity of the district. That are more than 20,000 students in the Beaufort County school system.
The school board advertised the superintendent's salary "in the range of $215,000."
Evans said Moss has yet to sign the contract, but verbally agreed over the phone Sunday.
Moss said Tuesday night he was "very excited to move to Beaufort County" and is "looking forward to getting started." He said he has already begun work on a 90-day action plan and has contacted a local Realtor.
Moss will receive an $850 a month gasoline allowance.
Moss must find a permanent residence and move his family to the district by Jan. 15, 2014.
Moss opted not to participate in a medical insurance plan in favor of other benefits, including yearly payments into an annuity plan -- beginning at 5 percent of his annual salary and growing to 20 percent for the 2017-18 school year -- according to the contract.
Moss does not officially begin work until July 1, but will participate in the district's two-day work session April 12-13 and may make other visits here, Evans said.
Moss has worked in North Carolina schools for 30 years as a teacher, director of vocational and technical education and assistant superintendent for instruction and technology. Prior to becoming superintendent in Lee County, he served as superintendent of Beaufort County Schools in Washington, N.C., and Stanly County Schools in Albemarle, N.C.
He receives a $196,000 base salary from Lee County, an $8,000 annual bonus, an $800 "longevity" payment and $18,000 in deferred compensation.
The school board chose Moss over Gloria J. Davis of Decatur, Ill., Feb. 28 to replace Valerie Truesdale, who retired in October and later accepted a senior position in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.
Jackie Rosswurm, the district's human resources chief, has been serving as acting superintendent. She did not apply for the superintendent's position.
Truesdale was paid $209,712 in salary and performance incentives, plus the $850-per-month gasoline allowance.