Philadelphia Finalist to Be Voted on for Portland Superintendent Job
After a First Read on July 2, the Portland Board of Education will meet on July 9 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Portland City Hall to vote on a Superintendent Employment Agreement between the board and Emmanuel Caulk, assistant superintendent of schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The July 9th vote will be followed by a reception in the State of Maine room at City Hall.
“From a field of 159 applicants from all over the country, we have selected an educational leader with a range of skills and experience that closely match our position profile and the work currently underway in Portland,” said Sarah Thompson, who chairs the Superintendent Search Ad Hoc Committee. “From curriculum planning to staff evaluations to high school reform, Mr. Caulk brings practical experience to areas of great need in Portland Public Schools.”
“Emmanuel Caulk brings skills and experience using data, best practice and resources to boost achievement for students at all levels of proficiency along the spectrum,” said Board Chair Kate Snyder. “He is committed to all students performing at their fullest potential. We have crafted an innovative contract that ties a 5 percent merit pay incentive in years two and three to successful implementation of district-wide strategies and systems to improve teaching, learning and student outcomes.”
Caulk now oversees an academic division of the Philadelphia district with 36 schools serving 16,500 students, more than twice Portland’s enrollment. Under his leadership, schools have demonstrated gains in reading and math as measured by student performance on the state assessment.
Before taking his current position, Caulk served as Philadelphia’s assistant regional superintendent and deputy chief for the office of instruction and leadership support and as the assistant superintendent for high schools of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, overseeing the district’s 15 high schools and 12,000 students. In East Baton Rouge, he implemented high school redesign initiatives across the lowest performing high schools, implemented a tiered intervention model for school supports, increased the number of advanced placement and dual enrollment courses and implemented a dropout prevention and re-entry program for non-traditional students. The changes resulted in a rise in student achievement.
Caulk also served as a leadership coach on the High School Transformation project in the Chicago Public Schools and as an administrator at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. In addition, he practiced law.
Caulk holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Delaware and a juris doctor’s degree from Widener University School of Law. He currently is completing his dissertation to earn his doctorate degree from National-Louis University.
“I am very excited to be chosen as the new superintendent of the Portland Public Schools,” said Caulk. “The future of Portland is inextricably linked to the success of our public schools. Therefore, it is incumbent upon our schools to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to develop his or her talents fully, and that our students are prepared with the skills necessary to excel in college and in their future careers in this global market. I believe in the limitless potential of young people, and I cannot wait to begin this critical work. I look forward to working with parents, teachers, stakeholders and the greater Portland community as we work together to improve the life chances of Portland's children.”
Caulk is expected to start his new position in Portland on August 20. The board has appointed Deering High School Principal Ira Waltz as acting superintendent. Snyder, the board chair, will appoint a team of community stakeholders to help with the transition.
Since December, the board has worked with the executive search firm, PROACT, to conduct a national superintendent search that included many opportunities for public input. Board members, top administrators and a stakeholder panel of community residents interviewed the finalists. Emmanuel Caulk participated in five community forums. Read more about the search.
The Portland Board of Education’s July 2nd meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Room 250 of Casco Bay High School.