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Posted on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 9:20 a.m.

Saline rates superintendent as 'effective,' directs administration to study compensation of peer districts

By Danielle Arndt

Saline school board members on Tuesday praised the strides Superintendent Scot Graden has made in the district.

On a scale of “ineffective” to “highly effective” the Saline Area Schools trustees gave Graden an “effective” rating for meeting board expectations and for his leadership in the district.


Scot Graden

Board members also directed the Saline’s human resources department to research the superintendent compensation packages of other comparable school districts and to prepare a market analysis for the board.

The board intends to use the report to determine the next steps regarding Graden’s contract with the district.

In 2011, the board extended Graden’s contract through June 30, 2016, and set a base salary of $125,000 through June 30, 2012.

The contract stipulated he could receive a raise to his annual base salary beginning July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2016, at the discretion of the school board.

Board President Lisa Slawson said in a news release that Graden has done an “excellent job of moving Saline Area Schools forward during a very challenging time. As a board and a community, we are excited about the future under his leadership.”

The board as a whole issued the following statement after Tuesday’s regular school board meeting, at which it conducted its annual closed-session evaluation of Graden:

The Saline Area School District has taken great strides forward in the past year under Scot Graden’s leadership - including improved student achievement, hiring a new high school principal, settling collective bargaining agreements with four bargaining units, and improving the financial condition of district. The strong performance of the district is a testament to Mr. Graden’s dedication to higher achievement for all students at every level and his willingness to address difficult financial issues. He has been active in working with staff and community to continue the tradition of excellence at Saline Area Schools.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Cheryl Hieber

Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Sometimes one person makes statements that are alluded to be the the opinion of the board when that is not actually the case. Thanks for publishing the statement of "the board as a whole." That is what readers want to see.

Cheryl Hieber

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

As was the case during the election season, statements made by individual board members were repeated as being endorsements by the board, when that was not accurate. The individual board members were not elected to represent their own personal opinions to the media as being that of the entire community. The Board, even if excited about the future of his leadership, only gave Mr. Graden a middle-of-the road rating. It is great that the Board will review and evaluate the compensation package by comparison to others with the same qualifications and experience level in the occupation. Mr. Graden may be deserving of more money, as are many of the teachers and support staff, but any pay raise should be considered very carefully especially when the students are doing fundraisers to buy classroom necessities. Income from selling properties has probably saved the district; pretty soon there will be nothing left to sell.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

Yes, I am sure that the board statement reflects exactly what the board wants to say about the board's evaluation of the superintendent. But that is a very specific comment about a very specific action of the board. Ms Slawson's comment may reflect on opinions she has heard. As part of her job on the board I am sure she hears from a lot of people - students, parents, staff, and the community in general. And other board members. It would also seem to be unusual to assume that the board would not be excited to work with Mr Graden after giving hem a solid review and looking into granting a raise. Also please note that it does not appear that the full quote was given, so we cannot be sure if any prefacing remark may have been given. Bottom line to me is what I said earlier: I do not find the summary to be materially different than the full statement. But I am glad that the official full board statement was included.

Cheryl Hieber

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 4:35 a.m.

ThinkingOne - While it is true Mr. Graden should be commended for his past accomplishments, to make the statement that the "board" and "community are excited about the future under his leadership" may or may not be totally accurate and perhaps should be prefaced by Ms. Slawson with the phrase, "In my opinion." There was no vote or poll of the citizens of the school district, and the Board as a whole released their statement exactly as they wanted it.


Thu, Nov 29, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

While it is good to print the full statement of the board, it is also quite common for the leader of a group (in this case the president of the board) to summarize. I do not find the summary to be materially different than the full statement. It certainly is less long-winded, and has more of a natural flow.


Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Maybe Ann Arbor should hire him..........


Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

No. He's a Saline man, through and through. Class of 89! :-)