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Apr 13, 2010 10:18 PM by Andy Koen

D2 announces top earners

Some teachers in Harrison School District Two will bring home more money come September. The district has announced its top performers under the new pay for performance program.

Of the 854 teachers in the Effectiveness and Results program, 105 were ranked as Proficient and another 7 were ranked as Exemplary.

English Language Development teacher Aimee Dyrek at Oak Creek Elementary is one of the seven who will be getting the biggest raise of $8,000 next year.

"I was really honored," Dyrek said. "In this building I know all the teachers and they're (all) phenomenal and dynamic."

Teacher salaries in District Two range from $35,000 up to $90,000 are based on combination of performance and student achievement.

They are evaluated by both the principal and the central administration. Other districts determine salary based on experience and education level.

Fourth grade teacher Tricia Starzynski from Soaring Eagles Elementary says she was initially skeptical of the plan but since changed her mind. She too was ranked as exemplary and will get the $8,000 bonus.

"It's not going to change our job," Starzynski said.  "Even if we were not labeled exemplary, we're going to come in here and do what we normally do; we teach the students, we push the students, we motivate them so that they're still achieving."

Unlike Starzynski and Dyrek, those teachers who fail to perform will see their pay drop.  The drop can only occur after two consecutive years of failing evaluations and it cannot drop below their current salary level for the 2009-2010 school year.

The school district hopes the pay structure" will help them recruit more talented teachers.  Dyrek says most teachers don't enter the profession for the pay, but thinks the salary structure could help teacher recruitment.

"I think it might just be an additional motivator and maybe it will help people feel appreciated," Dyrek said.

The district is holding a free information night for potential employees Wednesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Vista Community School, 2550 Dorset Drive, 80910.

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