RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Randolph County Schools' employees will get a COVID-19 bonus.
The Randolph County Schools' Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution providing a one-time $5,000 bonus to full-time employees. District officials said new employees hired between Oct. – Jan. 10 will get a $2,500 bonus. Substitute qualify for a bonus as well, as long as they worked 20 full-time days between Oct. – Jan. of next year.
We spoke with district Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey about these new bonuses, and he was elated to see this resolution passed by the Board of Education this week.
"I was just really excited the board approved this plan where everyone got the same amount of money."
The district's teachers aren't the only ones who will benefit from these bonuses.
"If you serve as a substitute for an equivalent of 20 days between Oct 1 and Jan 31, you'll get not only your regular pay, but you'll get $1000 bonus and we're very excited about that....This amount ($5,000) went to everybody. there weren't differences based on different positions. Everyone will receive this bonus. whether you're a teacher, a custodian, child nutrition staff member, bus driver, principal, everyone is getting the same amount and I love that."
The district said the bonuses are meant to help retain current employees and bring in new staff at a time when it’s difficult for schools to build their staff.
Several staff members said the extra cash is a welcome surprise.
"It makes me feel like this was given to us to say thank you," Teacher Assistant Kendra Davis said.
"My guidance counselor sent me a text message and she said we're getting a bonus and I was like good joke," Teacher Katie Husband said.
At first, Husband said she didn't believe it.
"I was amazed and I am so thankful," Husband said.
She said teaching during a pandemic is not an easy task. From masks to virtual learning and everything in between. It's been a challenge.
"A lot of people say that we work 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and go home, but that’s not true. We work till 5:00 or 6:00 o’clock sometimes because of meetings or just getting things prepared, and some of that time doubles," Husband said. "I know some teachers are coming in on the weekends, and we don’t get paid for weekends, we work preparing during the summer. Even when we go home it’s not like we cut it off and we’re done for the day. We always work hard, but we definitely worked really hard the past two and a half years.”
Davis said she's glad everyone is getting recognized with this bonus.
"I was very surprised that it was everyone all the way down to even custodians, I believe," Davis said. "It's been a trying year for all of us."
Superintendent Gainey said he hopes staff knows how valued, respected, and loved they are.