MERCED -- Steve Gomes, Merced County superintendent of schools, has been placed on a five-step salary schedule by the county Board of Education.
At their meeting this week, the five-member board put Gomes on the second of the five steps. Advancement each year on the salary steps is automatic, tied to longevity.
Gomes, 61, who became superintendent in January, 2011, is making $170,180 a year. His salary will rise in January by 3 percent, to $175,285 annually.
"I think it's pretty fair," Gomes said. "There are school superintendents making more than me."
Fred Honore, board chairman, said Gomes is doing an outstanding job.
He said the board's decision puts Gomes in the middle range of salaries paid to superintendents of county school districts the same size as Merced County.
This is Gomes' 40th year in public education. He taught for 24 years with the Merced Union High School District, was a vice principal at Golden Valley High School for five years, the principal at Hilmar High School for five years and superintendent of the Planada School District for 4½ years.
Previously, Gomes was on a two-step salary schedule. He said he doesn't have a car or cell phone allowance.
Board member Evelyn Eagleton said Gomes is very proactive and interested in building staff and leadership team morale.
"Steve is doing a very good job," Eagleton said. "Things are going well."
Board member Rudy Albritton agreed, calling Gomes' performance outstanding. He said he has nothing but positive things to say about the job Gomes is doing.
Gomes has a doctorate in education which he received in June 2011 from California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock. His dissertation was on the relationship between school boards, their superintendents and student achievement.
Gomes has been a lifelong resident of Merced County. He grew up on the family dairy in Gustine and attended Merced College and California State University, Fresno, earning a bachelor of science degree in general agriculture.
He earned a master's degree from California State University, Long Beach, in vocational education.
Gomes is a graduate of Class XIV of the California Agriculture Leadership Program.
He began his career as an agriculture teacher at Merced High School and taught shop, business, leadership and science, and he coached a national FFA champion dairy cattle judging team.
After 24 years as an ag teacher, he was hired as a vice principal of student activities and athletics for Golden Valley High School in Merced.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or email@example.com.