HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As state lawmakers work to raise teacher salaries across South Carolina, WMBF Investigates looked into the top paid employees within the Horry County School District (HCSD).
More than 2,200 employees earn more than $50,000 a year. Many of the top earners work within the district’s office or are school principals.
To explore the salaries of all district employees who make more than $50,000, click here!
The top earners
1. Rickey Maxey, Superintendent of Schools: $222,853
2. Kenneth Generette, Staff Attorney: $166,260
3. John Gardner, Chief Finance Officer: $131,949
4. Daryl Brown, Chief Support Services Officer: $131,949
5. Mary Anderson, Chief Human Resource Officer: $131,949
Only 85 employees earn more than $100,000. The only teacher who makes more than $100,000 is the agriculture teacher at Aynor High School. All but a few principals do not earn $100,000. The Horry County School District reported its principals get paid an average of $107,000.
Top paid principals
1. Vann Pennell, St. James High: $125,666
2. Trevor Stawderman, North Myrtle Beach: $125,666
3. Andrea Pridgen, Green Sea Floyds High: $124,286
4. Frances Driggers, Carolina Forest High: $123,202
5. Michael McCracken, Aynor High: $123,202
Horry County School District reported in its 2017-2018 budget that teachers make an average of $54,000. Around 40 percent of its nearly 3,000 teachers were listed as making more than the $54,000.
Top paid teachers
1. James Robert, Agriculture teacher at Aynor High: $102,834.55
2. David Kaiser, Navy JROTC teacher, Myrtle Beach High: $95,526
3. Beasley Strickland, Agriculture teacher at Carolina Forest High: $95,334
4. Scott Bartley, Army JROTC teacher, St. James High: $94,386
5. Kevin Boyle, Navy JROTC teacher, Carolina Forest High: $93,704
More high school and elementary school teachers had $50,000 salaries or higher than middle school teachers.
A teacher’s education level and years of experience can affect how much they earn.
The South Carolina Department of Education does set salary minimums. A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree can make as low as $32,000.
A teacher with a PhD can make less than $50,000 until they have seven years of experience.
State minimums reveal teachers with a bachelors’ degree can have more than 20 years of experience and can still make only $47,000.
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) reported the South Carolina’s average for teacher salaries in 2016-2017 was $50,000. Horry County’s average teacher salary is one of the highest in the state, topped only by Lexington District 5.
According to the National Education Association, the average classroom teacher made $59,660 across the country in the 2016-2017 school year.
Location with the most employees paid above $50,000
1. The district office: 170
2. Carolina Forest High: 99
3. Socastee High: 86
4. St. James High: 76
5. Conway High: 72
6. Myrtle Beach High: 63
These schools are also the schools with the highest student populations.
Schools with the least amount of employees making more than $50,000
1. Socastee Middle: 18
2. Early College High: 21
3. Waterway Elementary: 22
4. Kingston Elementary: 23
5. Ocean Bay Elementary: 23