Kingsport superintendent gets pay bump, contract extension

Rick Wagner • Mar 27, 2019 at 12:26 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse got a raise, an increase in reimbursements and a contract extension in absentia from the city Board of Education during a called meeting Tuesday, after which the board reviewed a proposed outline of a new superintendent review process.

And the BOE saw a presentation of his vision for a new Portrait of a Graduate program for Kingsport City Schools, presented by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Rhonda Stringham.


The board voted 4-0, with member Todd Golden absent, to extend Moorhouse’s contract by a year, to the maximum four years, beginning April 1 and going to April 1, 2023. The pay increase is 2 percent of the current $159,000 annual salary plus whatever the yet-to-be-determined cost-of-living raise is given other certified personnel in KCS. He and his wife are visiting India, where his daughter is performing mission work. The 2 percent would bring his pay to $162,180, and his initial contract was Jan, 23, 2018.

In addition, the every-two-weeks automobile allowance of $425 is going up 2 percent plus the cost-of-living allowance, to $433.50 with the 2 percent; with the every-two-weeks $175 home office allowance going up the same percentages, or to $178.50. The contract amendment also increased the administrative leave days from 18 to 20, and on April 1, 2020, that will increase to 25 days. He will be allowed to carry over up to 20 days to future school years and upon written request to the board the BOE will compensate him for up to 10 unused administrative leave days.

All told, that would bring his total financial compensation, not including undetermined cost-of-living increases or leave days buyouts, to $178,014 a year. 


After the called meeting, the board went over a draft of a proposed superintendent review process the board will consider in April to be adopted and added to the procedures manual if approved.

In January of odd-numbered years when a raise is due, the board will seek input from all school system employees, but in even-numbered years when board elections are held, a more limited survey would be conducted.

February would have a board review of the survey results, with review of the contract and adjustments in even-numbered years. A mini-retreat would be in April to set goals for the next school year, followed by a year-end superintendent’s report in June, a full BOE retreat in September and a mid-year superintendent progress report in November.


Stringham gave a report and rundown on the Portrait of a Graduate program, which will develop a goal and plans for KCS to educate students based on how the world has changed, needed skills and science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Stringham said a community design team, including students, teachers, business leaders and other stakeholders, will meet April 2 and 16 and Mary 16 and 24 to formulate what is needed to ensure deep and relevant learning for all students, moving away from so much knowledge-based learning to learning that focuses on how to use knowledge, emphasizing things like communications, collaboration and problem solving.

She said the program is a great way to move the system and students forward. She said project-based learning would be what she envisions and that the committee will look at what is needed locally and wanted by the community, which is different across the nation in systems that already have adopted the program.

“There’s got to be a better way to measure knowledge” than sheer standardized testing, board President Carrie Upshaw said of fostering creativity and problem solving needed in the 21st century.