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Portland Board of Public Education Votes To Extend Superintendent’s Contract

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Portland Board of Public Education Votes To Extend Superintendent’s Contract
Posted on 11/18/2014

PORTLAND, MAINE (Nov. 18, 2014) – The Portland Board of Public Education voted unanimously on Nov. 18 to extend Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk’s contract by three years, to June 2019.

“Based on a thorough review of his performance and progress toward achieving the goals we have established, the board is pleased to extend the superintendent’s contract for three years, through June 30, 2019,” said Board Chair Sarah Thompson. “The board has agreed that Superintendent Caulk has earned that extension and that it is important to demonstrate our support for his continued leadership and his dedication to the mission of the Portland Public Schools. Extending his contract allows him time to realize the goal of having the Portland Public Schools become the best small urban school district in the country by 2017.” Caulk set that goal after becoming Portland’s superintendent in July 2012. 

Thompson cited numerous initiatives Caulk has launched since taking the helm of the district. For example, she said the board is very impressed with his Principal for a Day program that brings local business leaders into the schools. That program dovetailed neatly this year with his initiative to increase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the district. On Nov. 10, the Portland Public Schools partnered with EnviroLogix to hold the first STEM Expo of student learning. That STEM partnership with EnviroLogix arose out of the Principal for a Day program, in which EnviroLogix’ CEO John Markin participated.

The Principal for a Day program is run in partnership with the Portland Regional Chamber, at whose monthly Eggs & Issues forum Caulk has been a guest speaker. Caulk also works with Portland ConnectEd, which brings together organizational leaders to build citywide, cradle-to-career support of high quality education, and other nonprofit entities. “He develops important relationships in the community that benefit our students,” Thompson said.

She praised Caulk’s work on the school budget. For example, he developed an online toolkit that is an easy and convenient way for the community to give input about the budget. Also, Thompson said, “We felt that he has done a great job at linking the budget to the Portland Public Schools’ Comprehensive Plan.”

She said the board also likes Caulk’s community outreach efforts. “He is always looking for ways to foster connections between the Portland Public Schools and parents and other community stakeholders,” Thompson said. His initiatives in that area have included a survey of district parents, a Parent University, the Superintendent’s Blog, the Superintendent’s Book Club and a new community e-Newsletter, which is being launched later this month.

Since his hiring, the board has voted on Caulk’s contract once before, agreeing last Feb. 25 to extend his contract to 2016. At that time, Caulk declined any increase in pay. He also took five furlough days that resulted in a decrease in pay. After the latest vote, which came after the board completed his performance review in a series of executive session meetings over the past two months, he will receive a 1 percent cost-of-living increase of $1,375 that will increase his annual salary of $137,500 to $138,875. He’ll also receive a one-time, 1 percent bonus of $1,375.

“The board looks forward to continuing our joint efforts with Superintendent Caulk to make our public schools the best they can be,” Thompson said.