San Diego When the board of directors of downtown's private Harborside School announced last week they were shutting it down because there wasn't enough money to pay the bills, no one was more disappointed than headmaster Stephen Edele, who, according to a tax return filed by the school with the IRS last year, made $90,000 in salary plus $4500 in other compensation. (The document, covering the period from July 2004 through June 2005, also reveals that the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school, a onetime pet project of Christy Walton, wife of the late John Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, was already $147,421 in the red on total revenue of $1,303,483.)
By local private-prep-school standards, Edele wasn't particularly overpaid. At La Jolla's tony Gillispie School, a private elementary that reported total revenue of $4,316,618 during the period between July 2005 and June 2006, head of school Jackie Yarbrough was paid $150,000. Director of development Nancy Torns made $71,000.
Some of the best-compensated private school execs can be found at Francis Parker School, which has 1200 students in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. There, chief advancement officer John Thorsen got a total of $162,750 in pay and benefits, plus a $4800 expense account; dean Paul Roudebush picked up $138,625; principal Robert Gillingham received $123,250; principal James P. Mitchell got $118,625; and principal David M. Silver was paid $110,250, plus $24,000 in expenses. The school took in total revenue of $27,088,303.