New York City’s posh private school heads earn huge salaries

The leaders of New York City’s poshest, wokest private schools are raking it in like 1 percenters.

Jim Best, the head of the Dalton School on the Upper East Side, received $937,973 in compensation in 2019 including a salary of $888,377, the nonprofit school’s most recent tax filing shows.

Best, who took the top job at the school in 2018, announced in April he would be stepping down after what had been several tumultuous months at the elite institution.

The school, which counts Anderson Cooper and Chevy Chase as graduates, has been roiled over its progressive agenda with an anonymous group of parents griping in January that “Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity.”

And, as the The Post reported, some parents were aghast that Dalton’s “health and wellness,” educator Justine Ang Fonte, was teaching first graders about touching themselves for pleasure.

Jim Best, head of The Dalton School
Jim Best, head of The Dalton School

Fonte was also teaching a course across town at the Upper West Side’s Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School to high school juniors on “pornography literacy” to the horror of some parents.

The compensation package for the head of that school, William Donohue, came to $539,700 in 2019, including a salary of $442,017 and a bonus of $75,000, according to its tax filing.

Graph of prep school head's pay
Ny Post

At the Upper East Side’s Brearley School, where parents were also worked up over the curriculum focus, Jane Foley Fried’s compensation as head of the school came to $939,622 in 2019, with a salary of $717,888, a bonus of $87,500 and housing and maid service provided by the school and valued at $98,879, according to its tax filing.

Brearley parent Andrew Guttmann ignited a controversy in April after a letter he penned to families went public and said the school once attended by Caroline Kennedy “has completely lost its way” and “the administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob.” He particularly objected to the focus on “systemic racism.”

Fried fired back that Guttman’s letter was “deeply offensive and harmful.”

Privilege and racial issues were also the focus of curriculum at the Riverdale Country Day School in the Bronx, where one parent said children were forced to label themselves based on skin color.

Bodie Brizendine (inset)
Head of School The Spence School.
Bodie Brizendine (inset) head of The Spence School.
NY Post
Domonic Randolph, head of Riverdale Country School
Domonic Randolph, head of Riverdale Country School

Dominic Randolph, the head of school there, had a compensation package totaling $1,075,504, including his salary of $1,018,857 and housing and a social club membership.

The Upper East Side’s all-girls Spence School formed a task force to turn the school into the “anti-racist institution it aspires to be.” The school’s head, Bodie Brizendine, had a compensation package of $942,615 in 2019, including a salary of $886,860.

The anti-racism task force at the Upper West Side’s Trinity School numbered nearly 200 people and put out a report this month recommending things like “listening circles” and “affinity spaces.” John Allman, the head of the school, received a $1.1 million compensation package with $751,348 in salary; a $105,300 bonus; $47,250 in deferred compensation, and $224,133 in benefits, including housing in a school-owned brownstone, its tax filing shows.

At the Upper East Side’s Chapin School, director Patricia Hayot received a $1,041,864 compensation package in 2019, including a salary of $898,033; $132,650 in deferred compensation, and $11,181 in benefits.

The school previously provided Hayot, who stepped down in 2020, with a $500,000 loan to buy a condo.

Mr. Paul Burke (inset) was unanimously named the seventh head of school at Nightingale in 2012.
Mr. Paul Burke (inset) was unanimously named the seventh head of school at Nightingale in 2012.
Ny post
Jessica Bagby, the head of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Jessica Bagby, head of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Jessica Bagby, the head of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, received $795,872 in salary, a $112,500 bonus, $63,096 in “other compensation” plus other benefits that totaled $1,098,788. The package included housing and car allowances, according to the tax filing for the school which has campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx.

The compensation for the head of the Upper East Side’s Nightingale-Bamford School, Paul Burke, came to $1.2 million in 2019 with a salary of $918,502 and “other compensation” of $219,343 that included housing, its tax filing shows.

The all-boys Collegiate School on the Upper West Side provided a $1,087,660 compensation package to headmaster Lee Levison in 2019, including a salary of $936,323. Levison stepped down in June 2020.

Additional reporting by Conor Skelding and Kieran Ungemach


Metro | New York Post

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