School Choice & Charters

Private School to Limit Top Two Administrators’ Pay

By Darcia Harris Bowman — February 25, 2004 1 min read

A leading New Hampshire boarding school has agreed to limit pay increases for its top two administrators, following an examination of its finances by the state attorney general.

The charitable-trust unit of Attorney General Peter W. Heed’s office had been investigating for more than a year whether the 500-student, nonprofit St. Paul’s School in Concord was overpaying its rector, Craig B. Anderson, an Episcopal bishop, and its vice rector, Sharon D. Hennessy.

The review was prompted by concerns that arose during the attorney general’s yearly review of financial statements the school files with the state under the New Hampshire charitable-trust laws, said Michael S. DeLucia, the director of the attorney general’s charitable-trust unit.

In a Feb. 12 letter from the school’s lawyers to the attorney general, Bishop Anderson and Ms. Hennessy volunteered to take 10 percent reductions in pay for the 2004-05 fiscal year. The school also informed the attorney general that it would not allow the total compensation packages of the two positions to exceed $452,000 and $297,000, respectively, before the end of fiscal year 2005-06.

In the 2002-03 school year, Bishop Anderson was paid $524,000 in salary, benefits, deferred compensation, and other perks, and Ms. Hennessy received $316,400, plus a number of additional benefits.

During the remainder of the two administrators’ tenure, salary increases for those positions will not exceed the percentage increase offered to faculty members, and the two will not be “granted any new, additional benefits that are not also granted to the faculty as a whole on like terms,” according to the letter from the school.

St. Paul’s School also volunteered a number of new internal and external controls on its finances, according to attorneys on both sides.

The boarding school, which enrolls students in grades 9-12, agreed to exercise greater control over the rector’s discretionary fund.

The school’s lawyer, Robert B. Gordon, said St. Paul’s officials have dealt with a “very small number of incorrect payments” from the discretionary fund and shifted its management from the rector’s office to the school’s business office.

The letter to the attorney general’s office was not an admission of impropriety on the part of the administrators or the school itself, Mr. Gordon added.

“This letter of agreement is a vindication of St. Paul’s,” he said.

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