News Story

Top 10 Michigan School Superintendents All Get Above $200,000

Life at the top of public education

Life at the top of the K-12 education pay scale can be quite rewarding for Michigan’s public school superintendents.

According to Chalkbeat, former Kalamazoo Public School Superintendent Michael Rice signed a three-year contract in May to be Michigan’s next superintendent of public instruction. Rice will be paid $216,000 annually in the role, which is about $50,456 less than he received in total pay in his final year at Kalamazoo Public Schools.

Edwardsburg Public Schools Superintendent Sherman Ostrander retired at the end of the 2018 school year. His total pay for the year was far more than what the district listed as his base salary. Ostrander received $257,537 in pay from the district in 2017-18. In a 2017 email, Ostrander said that his salary was based on a base salary of $161,000 and other contractual “compensation factors” contained in his contract.

The extra pay for those factors also helped boost Ostrander's pension when he stopped working.

Based on the pension formula used by the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System, Ostrander would have retired with an estimated annual full pension of $118,300 a year.

Here’s a look at what the top superintendents in K-12 education were paid in 2018, the most recent year salary data is available. The total salary listed is the amount used by the retirement system to calculate how much pension money the individual will receive in retirement. This amount would include not just base salary, but also any bonuses a superintendent might have earned. The number in parenthesis is the base salary/Medicare wages reported on the school district's website.

2018 Salary Information

Nikolai Vitti, Detroit Public Schools Community District, $295,000

Lisa Hagel, Genesee County Intermediate School District, $292,529 ($246,316)

Michael Rice, Kalamazoo Public Schools, $266,456 ($252,107)

Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Public Schools, $265,790 ($235,283)

Sherman Ostrander, Edwardsburg Public Schools, $257,537 ($161,000)

Michael DeVault, Macomb Intermediate School District, $246,172 (N/A)

Michael Shibler, Rockford Public Schools, $244,473 ($234,059)

Wanda Cook Robinson, Oakland County Intermediate School District, $243,358 ($157,000)

Kenneth Gutman, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, $237,716 ($257,903)

Mark Bieland, Portage Public Schools, $233,650 ($190,054)