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THE GREAT DIVIDE

Skipper gets four-year, $300,000-per-year contract as new Boston superintendent

Incoming Boston Superintendent Mary SkipperCraig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The Boston School Committee voted Wednesday night to offer Mary Skipper a four-year contract beginning Sept. 26. She will be paid $300,000 per year, with potential raises in future years.

The committee approved the contract unanimously, with two members absent. Skipper made brief remarks at the virtual meeting then left as the members began discussing her contract.

“Working with the committee, our mayor, our city officials, district and school-based staff, in service of our students and families is truly a dream come true,” Skipper said. “We have 49,000 reasons to make Boston Public Schools a district that students are proud to attend and staff are proud to be a part of.”

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Skipper will remain the superintendent of Somerville Public Schools until her contract with Boston begins. The delay leaves acting Superintendent Drew Echelson in charge of launching the school year and meeting the first state deadlines Monday in the improvement plan Mayor Michelle Wu agreed to in order to avert a state takeover.

Skipper is eligible for a 2.5 percent raise in her second year based on an annual performance review. In future years, her raises will be based on a district review of market rates.

The contract includes a new provision allowing for a superintendent to leave by mutual agreement, committee Chairwoman Jeri Robinson noted.

Skipper’s pay package is similar to that of former superintendent Brenda Cassellius, who received $297,138 in annual base pay. Cassellius received over $300,000 in severance, including deferred salary increases, as part of a separation agreement approved by the School Committee in March.

Robinson also discussed Echelson’s contract as acting superintendent. Echelson is receiving $5,384.62 per week to serve as acting superintendent and will continue to receive that salary during a 120-day transition period after Skipper joins the district. On an annual basis, that would be $280,000 per year.

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Following that four-month transition, Echelson will remain with the district in a leadership role, Robinson said.


Christopher Huffaker can be reached at christopher.huffaker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @huffakingit.