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City, county educators receive ‘extraordinary’ pay bonus

Teachers, staff and administrators across the Escambia County School System and Brewton City Schools received a special surprise last week, just in time for the holidays.

The cash bonuses handed out to faculty and staff in both systems has been labeled as a “one-time extraordinary compensation” for work above and beyond normal duties in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Escambia County School Superintendent John Knott announced during Thursday’s board meeting that all full-time, active employees in the count would receive the special pay.

“I want to recognize and commend all of our people,” Knott said. “It takes everybody to make things work with all of the constraints we have faced. Our staff has stepped up to the challenge under harsh conditions. The board was unanimous in thir decision to do everything we could to recognize and show appreciation.”

Dr. Kenneth Varner, superintendent with the Brewton City School System, said the one-time pay was something the board was happy to approve.

“This compensation is insufficient to show our appreciation for the efforts our staff has put forth this semester,” Varner said. “This year has been extremely challenging, but when you challenge people the way they have been challenged, you find out what kind of people you have. We have a wonderful staff. They have had the stress of working and functioning in a covid environment and they have been asked to do so much more than normal duties. But, we have all worked together to make this as normal a year as possible for our students.”

Escambia County School System personnel received a one-time payment of $500 each at a cost of just over $321,000 to the county.

Brewton City School System employees received a one-time payment of $800 with a cost of just under $120,000 to the system.