Gary Abud is a commodity experts say is in great demand around the country. He's recognized as a highly effective science teacher and was named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year in Michigan.

However, the Grosse Pointe North High School Science teacher ranked 477th out of 595 teachers for salary in his own school district, according to data acquired in a Freedom of Information Act request. Abud made $56,876 in 2012-13, which is about $21,000 less a year than the district's average salary of $77,969 a year. The average teacher salary in Michigan in 2012 was $62,631, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

That's because Abud's pay has been based solely on his seniority and education level.