School Board Approves Caulk as New Superintendent
The Portland Board of Public Education voted unanimously on July 9 to approve a contract with Emmanuel Caulk to serve as the new superintendent of the Portland Public Schools. Caulk will start work in Portland on August 20.
School board members said Caulk stood out in a field of 159 applicants because of his commitment to higher achievement for students at all levels, from those who struggle to those who excel. They described him as both optimistic and pragmatic in setting goals, and they noted that he is beloved by many employees, parents and students in his current job in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania public schools.
“He looks for the answers with objectivity,” said Board Chair Kate Snyder. “He brings an open mind. He’s curious about solutions and he’s curious about being informed by best practices. And that, to me, is a huge value to the city of Portland.”
Caulk said he plans to create many opportunities for the public to give their ideas for the school system. See his entire speech.
“The future of Portland is inextricably linked to the success of our public schools,” he said. “So as I begin to engage in listening and learning sessions, town hall meetings, parent roundtables and discussions, it’s important that I hear first-hand, directly from the people who matter most.”
Three members of Portland’s legislative delegation - Senator Justin Alfond and Representatives Anne Haskell and Mark Dion – joined Portland City Councilors Ed Suslovic and Nick Mavodones and Portland City Manager Mark Rees in welcoming Caulk to Portland.
After the board meeting, Caulk met Portland Public Schools parents, staff members and other residents at a reception in his honor in City Hall’s State of Maine room. Many of those involved in the superintendent search expressed their delight in his appointment and wished him well.