Big Raise for District Superintendent

Board announces a 25 percent salary bump to $175,000 annually
for Edwin Diaz, who hasn’t received a pay increase since July
Gilroy – Superintendent Edwin Diaz’s bosses think he’s doing a mighty fine job.

On Thursday, the Gilroy Unified School District board announced that they had extended Diaz’s contract for one year through June 30, 2009 and tacked on a 25 percent raise, bringing his annual salary to $175,000. The district will review his contract again in May 2006.

Diaz, who has been with the district for five years, will continue to receive the same vehicle allowance, fringe benefits and expense stipends as outlined in his 2004 contract. For fringe benefits Diaz will receive a total of 3 percent of his base salary plus $2,500.

The contract also stipulates that the superintendent will take home $500 a month in vehicle expenses, receive an annual physical at no cost and be reimbursed for any “reasonable business expenses.”

The homegrown superintendent has not received a raise since 2001. When Diaz began his tenure with the district in June 2000 he received an annual salary of $129,000. In July 2001 his salary was bumped up to $135,450.

He refused an offer of a 3 percent raise in 2003 because the district was having financial difficulties and other employees were forgoing raises.

Trustee Pat Midtgaard said that one reason the board decided to give Diaz such a large increase was because he had not received a raise in three years and that his salary was very low in comparison to Morgan Hill and Milpitas superintendents.

“He definitely is the instructional leader in the district and we thought it was important to show that,” she said. “I feel that it’s very important as a board to show our support for Edwin’s (Diaz) leadership.”

As a retired teacher and principal who worked under Diaz, Midtgaard said she has a unique appreciation for the superintendent. Diaz really understands instruction and has helped improve the district in many ways, she said.

Midtgaard mentioned the move to neighborhood schools as one of the many improvements made under Diaz’s leadership.

Diaz is happy with the end result.

“I thought the evaluation process was pretty thorough and I was pleased that the board had enough confidence in me to extend the contract,” he said.

Diaz also mentioned that the raise makes his salary more comparable to the salaries of other district superintendents.

Trustee David McRae said Diaz has helped improve the district’s financial situation. He also mentioned that the board has been trying to make all of the district’s employees’ salaries more reflective of similar districts.

The contract extension is a sign, said McRae. The board is saying “there’s no plan to replace you. We don’t want you to leave. Everything’s going great.”

The board wrote up a press release commending Diaz for his exceptional service in the district and released it Thursday.

“Superintendent Diaz has positioned himself as the educational leader of Gilroy Unified School District. He is visible and accessible on all sites and is recognized by staff, students, parents and the citizens of the community as a positive representation of the district. His personal commitment to improving the district has also made him an effective spokesperson for public school education,” the press release said.

GUSD Superintendent Edwin Diaz:

• Hired in June 2000 at salary of $129,000 annually.

• Received raise in July 2001 to $135,450.

• Received raise in October 2005 to $175,000.

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