Brown receives solid evaluation, turns down 3.5 percent pay raise

DAVISON — Davison Schools Superintendent Kevin Brown received an overall rating of “highly effective” on his annual review by the Board of Education, and along with it a 3.5 percent pay increase.

But he announced afterwards he will not be accepting the increase at this time.

President Kathleen Sudia said the Board of Education and Brown met in November to discuss his evaluation and the board gave him an overall rating of highly effective.

Secretary Karen Conover, chair of personnel committee, said each board member separately evaluated Brown’s performance of his duties over what she called “this last incredibly challenging and unprecedented year.”

The board evaluated him in several areas such as leadership abilities, policies and governance, instructional leadership, communication skills, organizational management and several others.

“The board then met as a whole with Mr. Brown and came to a consensus on all the components of his evaluation,” said Conover. “The consensus was overwhelmingly that Mr. Brown was rated by the state mandated evaluation form as highly effective. We would have rated him higher but that’s the highest they give us for evaluation.”

Conover further praised Brown as an exceptional superintendent, whom she said has performed “incredibly well in the gale winds of COVID-19 and capricious and ever-changing lockdown mandates.”

“This was no year for the feign of heart in school leadership,” said Conover. “Fortunately, in Davison Community Schools, we have a leader who quickly pivoted when he needed to, along with his talented administrative team. But he stands solid in his vision and dogged in his implementation of what is best for students.”

Former Superintendent Eric Lieske, who now serves as a school board member, also praised Brown, who served as his assistant superintendent.

“Excellent job, Mr. Brown, during very, very challenging times,” said Lieske.

Brown thanked the board for its support, the pay increase and for the highest evaluation possible.

“You are very generous, and I appreciate it,” he told the board. “You are a group of hard-working individuals; you truly care about doing what’s best for kids and I really appreciate and respect that. I thank you all.”

But I the days after the meeting, Brown issued a statement which said: “I am very appreciative that the board sees me as highly effective and has offered me a substantial increase in compensation, however, I simply don’t feel comfortable accepting a raise at this time and I have respectfully declined their offer.”

Brown’s salary increase would have gone into effect July 1, bringing his salary to $177,885.45, if he had accepted the increase.

He has been superintendent for 2.5 years and this would have been the first increase he has received.