Manassas City Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Newman is receiving his own raise after the division gave out year-end bonuses to all staff.
Superintendent Kevin Newman’s 4.39% raise was approved July 13 by the School Board, with members singing Newman’s praises, particularly regarding his navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to most high school students being kept out of the classroom the whole school year. With the pay increase, he’ll make just under $209,000.
Newman’s contract, which was extended by the School Board last year, is currently set to expire after the 2023-24 school year. In addition to the raise, which is the average in percentage terms of all division staff raises, the board added an automatic pay bump with every satisfactory annual evaluation for Newman, which the board just completed.
Board member Tim Demeria said Newman is the only employee in the division whose raise is contingent upon a satisfactory evaluation.
“I couldn’t be happier with the work that he’s done,” Demeria said.
Newman took over the school division in 2018 after Catherine Magouyrk departed. Before arriving in Manassas, Newman was superintendent for Colonial Beach Public Schools.
“He’s done an incredible job in these trying circumstances of keeping our school division afloat, to keep the community and the culture of the school division,” School Board Chair Sanford Williams told InsideNoVa. “He maintained a positive, can-do attitude in supporting our families, our teachers and our students.”
When most younger students were allowed back into classrooms in the spring, Williams said he and Newman visited classrooms together every week.
“He was standing there with [the staff] when they were going through this trying time, trying to teach through the pandemic,” Williams said.
The decision to keep middle and high schoolers — except for some English-language learners and special education students — out of classrooms for the full year was the School Board’s. In the spring, Newman presented a plan that would have brought students back in person twice a week, but the board balked, electing only to bring back kindergarten through fourth grades.
Newman’s top academic lieutenant, Melissa Saunders, just began her first year as superintendent of Manassas Park City Schools after 18 years in Manassas. The Manassas division recently hired Craig Gfeller to replace her as executive director of student achievement. Gfeller previously served as a deputy superintendent in Prince William County Public Schools.
In the spring, Newman and the School Board hashed out a plan with the City Council to fund the replacement of Jennie Dean Elementary School, the oldest school in the division, in 2026.
“He puts kids first; he puts people first,” Williams said of Newman. “People know that he genuinely cares. People often give lip service to the fact that they care, but he shows he cares … through action. He shows his compassion for the staff, and he treats everyone as if they’re family, which we strive to do as a school board and as a division.”