The Portland Phoenix

New Portland school superintendent will get salary hike

A Portland Public Schools administrative building on Cumberland Ave.

A Portland Public Schools administrative building on Cumberland Ave. (Portland Phoenix/Elizabeth Clemente)

Portland Public Schools has posted the job listing for its next superintendent, a key step in a process kicked off in August when former superintendent Xavier Botana announced he’d be leaving the district at the end of this school year. Botana resigned in January, leaving the role to two interim superintendents appointed by the district. 

Search firm Alma Advisory group has already received applicants for the position. Applicants for municipal jobs are confidential until they are hired.

The hiring would make the incoming candidate the highest paid superintendent in Maine. The job will include an updated salary starting at a base of $170,000 a year. The salary would mark the highest among superintendents in Maine, followed closely by the Yarmouth School Department ($167,000) and RSU 21 (Arundel and Kennebunk, $163,000).

The previous superintendent salary in Portland was $148,000 a year. Botana, who had served the Portland Public Schools since 2015, did not take a raise during his time at PPS. Officials said at a workshop on Feb. 28 that the new figure would approximate the position’s salary if he had.

School Board members agreed at the workshop that PPS, the largest and most diverse school district in the state, should have the highest paid superintendent position.

“Our superintendent should be at the top of the range in Maine, given the size and complexity of our district,” Board Chair Sarah Lentz said.

Alma Advisory Group compared Portland to similar school districts in Massachusetts, like Malden and Revere, whose superintendent salaries are just over $200,000 a year, to reach the baseline of $170,000.

The board will vote on a formal salary when a superintendent candidate is chosen.


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