Contract extension, raise official for Horry County Schools superintendent

vgrooms@thesunnews.comNovember 27, 2013 


— The Horry County school board made contract adjustments official for Horry County Schools Superintendent Cindy Elsberry Monday night to reflect the “exceptional” rating she received on her annual evaluation in October.

The board had voted unanimously to add one year to Elsberry’s contract, citing her accomplishments over the last year, which was one of the most successful in the district’s history. Elsberry has been superintendent since July 2008, and her extended contract will run until June 30, 2017.

Additional benefits included a 2 percent salary increase, bringing Elsberry’s annual salary to $215,414.82, according to her new contract. The board also increased her annual leave from 15 days to 20 days and increased the district’s annual contribution to her annuity plan by 3 percent to equal 11 percent of her annual salary.

HCS is the third-largest school district in the state with more than 39,000 students, and it is the county’s largest employer with over 5,000 employees. Elsberry’s salary is comparable to those of superintendents at the state’s largest districts, with Greenville County Schools’ Burke Royster earning $215,000 at the largest district, followed by Nancy McGinley of the Charleston County School District earning $218,392, according to the S.C. Department of Education.

Elsberry is credited with the high performance of HCS students on state tests, such as the S.C. Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, the High School Assessment Program and End-of-Course exams, surpassing state averages in all areas. The district also received the highest accountability rating of any countywide school district in the state under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The graduating class of 2013 earned a record $50.2 million in scholarships and set record performance levels on college entrance exams. Students had the largest one-year gain in the district’s history, topping the SAT national average by 14 points, and showed the largest one-year improvement on ACT, setting a new composite record that is one-tenth of one point below the national average.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at

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