The state’s Task Force on Teacher Leadership
and Compensation is pondering increasing the
minimum starting salary for Iowa teachers to
$35,000 from $28,000. How much does the average
teacher make now, you ask?
Here’s the answer:
There are 2,263 full-time teachers in the Des
Moines school district, and the average total
salary in the 2011-12 school year was $53,282.
The range was from $31,447 to $80,950. The average
salary for beginning teachers was $39,404.
From a salary standpoint, the best place to
teach in the Des Moines area — indeed, in the
entire state — is Ames, where there are 292
full-time teachers and the average total pay
last year was $62,560. Surprisingly, Indianola
ranked second among the 348 school districts
in the state, with an average total pay of $59,951
for that district’s 211 teachers. But all those
numbers include pay for extra duties. If you
look just at base pay for teaching, the best
place to teach last year was Iowa City, with
an average of $61,479. Indianola was second,
Roland-Story third. Southeast Polk was eighth
and West Des Moines ninth.
The single highest salary for any teacher last
year was the $105,700 paid by the West Des Moines
school district — more than three times the
$31,892 earned by the lowest-paid teacher there,
according to a Department of Education database.
Last year, there were 33,529 full-time teachers
in the state’s public schools, and the average
pay was $51,657. The minimum was $28,000, and
the top was that $105,700 paid in West Des Moines.
The district that hangs on to its teachers the
longest is Ventura, where the 22 teachers have
been in the district an average of 22.2 years.
In Des Moines, the average is 13.6 years.
These figures all are for teaching 36 weeks.
There are 52 weeks in a year. ...
Yet something else that Skinny never knew:
“The two [collegians Tom Vilsack and Christie
Bell] began dating. They hit ‘a rocky spot,’
as he describes it, because he was still pining
for a high school girlfriend named Mary Beth
from Pittsburgh. But eventually Tom Vilsack
picked the Iowa girl,” Bret Hayworth reported
in a long and interesting profile of Christie
Vilsack in the Sioux City Journal the other
“The former girlfriend was the sister of Karen
Santorum, wife of 2012 Republican presidential
candidate Rick Santorum.
“ ‘If I hadn’t made the right decision on this,
I could have been Rick Santorum’s brother-in-law,’
Tom Vilsack said. ‘As it turned out, I went
back on bended knee and asked for a second chance
with Christie.’ ” ...
A guy who felt flooded by The Des Moines Register’s
massive coverage of the recent openings of a
Whole Food store and then a new Hy-Vee store
says that if there was a Pulitzer Prize for
covering grocery-store openings, the Register
would surely win it. ...
Halley Griess is a Des Moines councilman. Occasionally,
he tweets during meetings. Last week:
“Hey tweeps, follow @joshhafner for snarky City
Council play by play tonight, color commentary
by Bill Stowe’s flowing locks.”
“Councilman Coleman plays coy on his knowledge
of hookah bars.”
“Apparently sidewalk cafe leases don’t interest
the next generation, young boy passed out in
the front row”
“BREAKING NEWS: Young boy in front row remains
asleep through baseball related item, others
beginning to dose.”
“BREAKING NEWS: Bill Stowe to maintain Superhero
status despite citizen plea to amend to Rockstar
“Coffee mug falls over, creates no small disturbance
during council meeting. Young boy continues
“Sleeping boy’s mother speaks. Boy remains asleep.”
And a recent tweet from Sen. Chuck Grassley:
“My local steak house serves nothing but vegetarian
bc cows are vegetarian.” One reply: “Um. What.”
Here comes Southwest: Posted air fares out of
Des Moines dropped dramatically over the weekend.
All major airlines, for instance, now are offering
Des Moines-New York round trips for around $250,
Des Moines-Washington trips for around $220,
and Des Moines-Los Angeles for around $260.
That’s about $100 less than the quoted prices
early in the week. But Des Moines-to-Chicago
flights are still around $350. ...
Some real-estate developments: Dave Mulcahy,
who bought a choice six acres or so in Glen
Oaks for $380,000 in 2004, sold the parcel last
month for $1,500,000 to something called Hillside
Development Inc., which was newly incorporated
and registered with the Secretary of State in
June. Maureen Warford, a notary in Adel, is
the registered agent.
A house in Glen Oaks — at 1857 Glen Oaks Drive
— sold for $750,000 last month. Tom Bernau was
the seller, Tom Powers the buyer. The house
is a nine-year-old, 3,860-square-foot, five-bedroom,
four-bathroom home on .6 acre. In Des Moines,
Patrick Traynor paid $849,000 for a 103-year-old,
4,735-square-foot, 13-room stucco home on more
than an acre at 219 37th St., south of Grand
Avenue. The house, which was owned by John D.
Paszek, was assessed at $767,900. It has six
bedrooms and two fireplaces. Paszek bought the
house from Rod Kruse two years ago for $839,000.
And not far away, at 120 35th St., Darca Boom
and Dennis Klein paid $505,000 for the 57-year-old,
2,618-square-foot home owned by Tom Slaughter.
Slaughter bought the house from Mary Riche in
2001 for $299,000. It’s assessed at $362,200.
Finally, Steven and Jeanne Low paid $513,550
for one of those lots just north of Wakonda
Club on Park Avenue; the price presumably includes
a townhouse being built by the developer at
an estimated cost of $456,161, according to
city records. ...
“You didn’t mention husband and father, which
makes me curious.” — Nancy Sebring. CV