We would be remiss to think government work stops at the Denton city limits; even Denton ISD doesn’t.

Within a couple dozen miles, thousands of school employees bolster the ranks of towns surrounding Denton.

As a Labor Day follow-up to an article published yesterday, the Denton Record-Chronicle has gathered employment data on seven school districts buttressing Denton ISD from all sides: Argyle, Aubrey, Krum, Lake Dallas, Pilot Point, Ponder and Sanger.

Feed your own curiosity (and plot your next salary negotiation) by seeing how your pay compares with your co-workers and your peers across the city in our searchable databases online.

We crunched the numbers, too. We broke out the top 10 lists for all of the rosters. And here’s what else we learned from the data:

Not all small districts compensate equally

When accounting for part-time employees, these seven districts employ less than 60% as many people as Denton ISD. Each had between 182 and 614 workers on their roster when information was requested earlier this summer.

Including hourly and part-time workers, there is a wide discrepancy between the median salary among the districts, with Argyle ISD leading the pack with a median salary of $57,744.

At the bottom of the pile is Ponder ISD with a median salary of $43,000.

Lake Dallas comes in second with $51,625, followed by Aubrey with $50,550, Sanger with $47,912, Krum with $47,125 and Pilot Point narrowly leads Ponder with a median salary of $45,750.

Due to the way schools are funded in Texas, schools with similar populations can have significantly different funding; that’s because property taxes are a major source of funding for schools. Therefore, districts with higher home prices will bring in more revenue.

According to the Denton Central Appraisal District, Argyle ISD has the highest average taxable home value of any of the seven districts, and Sanger ISD is at the bottom of the scale. That average sits at $445,248 for 2019, compared to Sanger ISD’s $175,424.

Knowing that, it’s no coincidence that Argyle ISD employees have the highest median salary compared to their neighbors.

It is worth noting that many salaries listed were in place before mandatory pay raises went into effect for teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors following the passage of House Bill 3.

Mandatory raises were not guaranteed by law to administrators or other staff members.

Government work still pays well

While the lower end of earners in each district are a far cry from the top, it’s no secret that those at the top of the food chain are well-compensated.

On average, Lake Dallas ISD pays its top 10 earners the most, with an average of $129,463. It’s followed closely by Argyle with an average of $121,012. Pilot Point lags behind the other six with an average of only $89,712 going toward its highest-paid employees.

Top 10 earners among seven districts (excluding stipends and bonuses)

name job title district salary
Gayle Stinson superintendent Lake Dallas $237,628
Telena Wright superintendent Argyle $191,727
Wes Eversole deputy superintendent Lake Dallas $184,058
David Belding superintendent Aubrey $177,804
Tommy Hunter superintendent Sanger $170,000
Cody Carroll superintendent Krum $157,284
John Yeager superintendent Ponder $149,904
Dan Gist superintendent Pilot Point $143,902
Chris Daniel deputy superintendent Argyle $135,205
Elizabeth Stewart chief financial officer Argyle $131,289

While many top earners are superintendents and administrators, the occasional athletics or band director top the charts in surrounding districts.

Women are inconsistently among the top earners

Even with two of the seven districts having a female superintendent, none of the batch had a majority female group of top earners. Aubrey, Krum and Sanger ISDs have an even split of male and female employees among the top 10 highest paid employees.

Argyle, Lake Dallas and Pilot Point lag just behind with four of the spots occupied by women, but Ponder trails neighboring districts with only two.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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