The board will also vote to extend her contract, which expires on December 31, 2015, though June 30, 2017.
“She’s a very, very, very hard worker,” Weiner said. “She works around the clock to better the school district. It’s rare that she is not up at central office, on weekends and through the week.”
Lembeck’s base salary is $165,067.68 with a total compensation of $209,226.64 when benefits are included. The proposed contract extension will raise the base salary to $198,081, bringing her total compensation to $244,637.68, Vega said. These figures do not include any performance bonuses Lembeck may receive.
Weiner said the raise would go into effect as soon as the board votes to approve the contract. The contract is being increased to match levels in surrounding districts, he said.
“We want to keep her salary competitive with surrounding metro Atlanta districts and realized her salary has lagged far behind most other metro districts,” Weiner said.
Weiner said the school board contacted the Georgia School Superintendents Association and discovered several metro Atlanta school districts report base salaries for their superintendents ranging from $180,000 to $275,000, including Atlanta City, Buford City, Cobb County, Decatur City, Forsyth County, Gwinnett County and Rockdale County.
Decatur City was “the most helpful” district for salary comparisons, Weiner said. Although it is half the size and has about half the budget of Marietta City Schools, Weiner said its superintendent receives a base salary of $200,000.
Board member Jeriene Bonner-Grimes deferred to Weiner when asked to comment on the Lembeck’s proposed raise.
“I think that (Lembeck’s) exemplary,” Bonner-Grimes said.
“And I think that if you spoke to (Weiner), he represents the board as the chairperson pretty accurately.”
Lembeck has been superintendent of Marietta City Schools since 2006, and Weiner said the board has never made a “market adjustment” to her salary. Any raises she received during her tenure were based on raises given to teachers, he added.
“If we gave teachers a 2 percent raise, we would also increase her salary by 2 percent,” Weiner said. “That’s how the contract was written to begin with.”
This provision remains in the contract the board will consider at its meeting.
The contract extension also raises the amount Lembeck can receive in her annual bonus from $5,000 to $7,500. The Board of Education sets goals for the superintendent each year in areas such as academic achievement, fiscal responsibility, personnel, leadership, facilities and public relations.
For example, in the 2013-14 school year, the superintendent was charged with increasing the graduation rate by five percent, designing and beginning renovation of Northcutt Stadium and producing a “fiscally responsible” budget, according to an “evaluation instrument” document on the school system’s website.
If the superintendent meets the goals set by the school board, she receives the bonus. According to Weiner, Lembeck has received her bonus every year since becoming superintendent.
Among Lembeck’s accomplishments during her tenure as superintendent include a school choice program allowing parents to choose to take their children to a school outside their school zone, an initiative that began in 2007, Weiner said.
She’s also helped to increase the school’s academics, Weiner said. The school system also has more students “exceeding standards” on standardized test than ever before, he added.
“She’s really improved academic achievement. It’s night and day compared to what it was in 2005.”
Lembeck was named the Georgia Superintendent of the Year in 2011.