Superintendent agrees to new 5-year contract with slight raise

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Superintendent of Schools Carol Cavanaugh has agreed to a new five-year contract with a starting salary of $205,000.

In making the offer, which is just over $11,000 more than her current salary of $193,725, School Committee members praised her “incredible work ethic, commitment to our community, availability to our families, and [her] ever-present professionalism,’’ according to an offer letter sent to Cavanaugh and signed by chair Amanda Fargiano on behalf of the committee.

A five-year contract provides school community with stability, Fargiano said, and allows the district to grow under steady leadership. She noted that before Cavanaugh’s arrival, superintendents often stayed for brief periods of time, requiring transitions to the next individual.

Cavanaugh, who came to Hopkinton in 2016 as assistant superintendent and took over the top job two years later after Cathy MacLeod retired, said she is looking forward to working in Hopkinton for the next five years.

The committee noted that she had “maintained exceptionally high outcomes for our students and our district, resulting in Hopkinton continually earning the highest rankings among public schools in Massachusetts.”

In her work her as superintendent, she supported not only the “highest-achieving students’’ but also “invested heavily in  all of our students,’’ according to the letter.

She was praised for “focusing on diversity and inclusion from day one, maintaining an emphasis on mental health and wellness, and committing always to fiscal responsibility with a consistently and remarkably lower-than-average district per pupil expenditure.’’

During the pandemic, the letter continued, she “provided a calm and steady hand to steer the district forward.’’ She “graciously accepted [her] role not only as district leader, but also as a community leader for all.’’

The contract does not establish set yearly increases. Any raises she receives will be at the discretion of the School Committee, Fargiano said.

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