MHS Marching Band. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Ethan McSweeney

Maricopa High School’s band director will see a boost in his pay next year that would put him on par with varsity basketball and baseball coaches.

The Maricopa Unified School District’s Governing Board approved the higher stipend for the position Wednesday night after some of its members called for the increase at previous meetings. Under the new stipend pay scale, the marching band director, Ivan Pour, will receive an annual stipend of $3,400, up from $2,600.

“This is a good start compared to where we were,” said Board President Patti Coutré.

Board Member Torri Anderson said she believes the marching band director should be paid at the higher rate that the athletic trainer is paid, which is $3,600.

“The amount of kids, the amount of time, the amount of awards, I think it’s more of them than the other ones,” she said about the band director in comparison to other coaches.

At the MUSD board meeting on June 8, Anderson and Coutré argued that due to the heavy work schedule the band director has throughout the year, the position should be paid more. They also called for raising the stipends for varsity high school coaches so all sports would be paid equally, which was not included in the approved stipend changes.

Under the stipend pay scale for coaches adopted by the MUSD board:

•    The head football coach will be paid $4,000, and the athletic trainer will receive $3,600 per season
•    The marching band director and head varsity coaches for volleyball, baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ basketball will receive $3,400
•    Varsity wrestling, track, soccer and cross country varsity head coaches will be paid $2,600
•    Cheerleading, tennis and golf head coaches will collect $2,000

A more comprehensive revision to the stipend pay scale could be adopted with the involvement of a special committee, said Steve Chestnut, MUSD superintendent. Those future changes could be made retroactive to affect the pay for the upcoming school year, he said.

“There are other areas we need to look at,” Chestnut said. “That’s been reflected in our discussion in the last couple meetings.”

The revisions for the upcoming school year also included an increase in stipends for MUSD teachers and administrators who hold doctoral degrees from $1,000 to $2,300. Chestnut said this change reflects the higher stipends that other school districts pay to employees that hold higher degrees.

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