District spokesman Fernando Gallard said Stewart's job is a "key position" that will focus on assisting struggling schools such as Steel Elementary in Nicetown and Munoz-Marin Elementary in Kensington with developing plans to boost academic performance.
New hire Naomi Housman began May 7 as the deputy chief for prevention and intervention with an annual salary of $125,000.
"In this role, Naomi will oversee counseling and behavioral health services, ensure that school-based and central office staff are equipped with the tools and training they need to support students and families," Hite wrote in a memo obtained by the Daily News.
When asked why Housman began to work during a hiring freeze, Gallard said, "Naomi Housman is filling a key position that cannot be left unfilled."
"The administrative offices at 440 [N. Broad St.] have gone through dramatic and substantial cuts," he said. "At this point, when an individual leaves the organization, that position must be filled. There are very few administrators left."
Hite also announced two additional hires for regional superintendents to take over positions vacated by Dickey and Lissa Johnson, who is retiring at the end of the month.
The new hires both hail from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, where a number of Hite's high-ranking choices come from. John Tupponce, who previously worked as director of instruction and special education in Newport News, Va., and Sean Conley, who was executive director of principal support and accountability in Baltimore, will each earn $145,000 annually. They will start their new positions on July 1.
Not mentioned in Hite's memo is a $30,000 salary increase given earlier this spring to Melanie Harris, chief information officer, who now earns $165,000. Her previous salary of $135,329 was well-below Hite's senior-team average of $165,381.
Danielle Floyd, director of capital programs, now earns $105,000. Her previous salary is believed to have been in the low $90,000s, but it could not be confirmed last night.
On Twitter: @ReginaMedina