WSD Teachers to Receive a Raise Next Year

Board of Education approves agreement with unanimous vote


Jamyla Roberson

Ms. Pizzo gives instructions on how to make garnishes during her Culinary Arts 3 class. All WSD teachers and staff will receive a pay increase beginning next school year. “Thank you to the Wentzville School District for always supporting their teachers,” Pizzo said about the pay raise. 

Zoe Snell and Joey Brooks

Teachers are rapidly leaving schools throughout the country, but the Wentzville School District is trying to do something about it.

The district’s main focus is to retain and attract teachers, so the WSD is increasing district spending 8% for next year, including a teacher pay raise. The district plans on paying teachers for unused sick days at the end of their employment. This agreement passed 7-0 at the most recent board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The Board’s motto this year is “serve those who serve” and they plan to do what they can to keep teachers within the district.

The WSD Board of Education approved a new salary schedule that will go into effect at the start of next school year. The base starting salary will now be $44,000 up from $40,986 last year. All teachers on a step will be moved up to the next step. Another new benefit is payout for unused sick days upon resignation or payout for unused sick/personal leave for retirees (currently $115-sub rate).

Ms. Sandy Pizzo, culinary arts teacher at LHS, was appreciative of the passing of the future salary change.

“Thank you to the Wentzville School District for always supporting their teachers,” Pizzo said.

There have been recent bargaining negotiations between teachers and the school board for a while now. Frontier Middle School 8th grade science teacher Julia Luetkenhaus said at the board meeting, “Although we may perceive different sides in the bargain, throughout this process we really have the same goal.” Luetkenhaus follows up with explaining her goal is “effective outcomes for all of our students.”

The Board also approved a Come Home initiative to help recruit and retain top-teaching talent.

The initiative was developed in coordination with the Wentzville NEA. Teachers who are WSD residents or graduates can bring all their years of experience to the district. First-year teachers who are Wentzville graduates can earn up to $7,500 ($2,500 each year) for a three-year loyalty incentive, and any Wentzville graduate who comes home from working elsewhere to teach at WSD will receive a one-time $2,000 stipend.

Teachers have it a lot harder than you think. Jen Olson, who is running for the WSD Board of Education, attended the Board meeting and hopes to become a part of the team to address the critical issue.

“Teachers are overloaded and burning out quickly,” Olson said. “They don’t have enough time to teach the subject matter in a way to ensure students retain the information long term.”

Olson said teachers are “underpaid and underappreciated.”

Missouri ranks as the sixth worst state regarding teacher salaries. The average teacher in Missouri is paid $57.5K, substantially less than the U.S. average of $65K, and a far cry from Massachusetts who ranks first with an average teacher salary of $78.5K.