Seven Vancouver School Board staff collected more than $150,000 in salaries between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, according to the Vancouver School Board’s annual Statement of Financial Information. The report lists all employees with remuneration exceeding $75,000.
Superintendent Steve Cardwell pulled in the highest figure, collecting $205,395.
James Mace landed in the number two spot, earning $191,001. Mace is typically one of the school district’s top earners. He holds several positions — as a district teacher for the Vancouver Learning Network, as an adult education teacher, and as a summer school teacher.
Rick Krowchuk, the VSB’s secretary treasurer, collected $187,007, while Jordan Tinney pulled in $183,990. Tinney was the VSB’s deputy superintendent before he moved to the Surrey school district.
Valerie Overgaard, a recently retired associate superintendent of learning services, earned $163,794.
Associate superintendent Maureen Ciarniello collected $158,480, while Govan Keng’s remuneration totalled $154,718. Keng is a district teacher and he’s also an adult education teacher.
(Last April, the Courier reported on some of the city’s top earners, including city manager Penny Ballem who collected $334,002 in 2011 and Police Chief Jim Chu, who earned $311,562 in 2010. Seven other city employees also collected more than $200,000)
Six Vancouver School Board staff submitted expenses over $10,000 — Iris Leung ($36,589), Steve Cardwell ($18,745), Christopher Marshall ($15,779), Bob Fitzpatrick ($15,276), Jordan Tinney ($15,151), and Barbara Onstad ($13,615).
Leung, Onstad and Fitzpatrick are involved in the VSB’s international education program.
Leung is the program coordinator for international education and speaks Cantonese and Mandarin. Her expenses of $36,589 are more than double her previous year’s expenses of $16,300. Leung travels, particularly around Asia, to promote the school board, according to VSB spokesman Kurt Heinrich.
Onstad, who speaks Japanese, is the manager of international education. Fitzpatrick is a secondary school teacher and district international student advisor. Heinrich said Fitzpatrick’s expenses are mainly connected to two trips to Japan where he attended a variety of information fairs where the VSB hosted booths.
Leung’s increase in travel costs is the result of fewer people being involved in travelling and promotion, added Heinrich, noting in previous years an associate superintendent engaged in travel and promotion, but now it’s mainly Leung, with some help from Onstad and Fitzpatrick.
“As the VSB continues to have declining local student enrolment, we’ve been working actively to attract students interested in studying abroad to come to Vancouver,” Heinrich told the Courier in an email. “One of the best ways to do this is at study abroad information fairs in other countries, as well as to meet and promote the VSB with study abroad agents who help connect international students to Canadian and American school districts.”
During the 2011/12 school year, visits were made to Hong Kong, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok (although the education fair was cancelled after departure from Vancouver due to flooding), Macau, Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Whistler. Staff also went to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero, Cologne and Berlin. Some cities were visited twice.
Travel destinations are selected according to student demand from the source country, Heinrich said.
The number of international students in Vancouver is growing. This year, 475 new international students will study at VSB high schools. The total number of international students is 1,086. Students are charged roughly $13,000 each. Annually, the program brings in about $14.3 million.
Superintendent Cardwell’s expenses included a $6,000 fee for the VSB’s Canadian Education Association membership. They also covered professional development and memberships in other education-related associations.