Superintendent Alan B. Bookman, the school leader who “sets the tone for the district,” has been awarded a new three-year contract.
The board of education recently extended Bookman’s contract through 2020. Bookman, superintendent since 2004, will receive a 2 percent raise and make $257,928 during the 2018-19 school year.
Bookman is evaluated on a yearly basis by the board, and Chairwoman Susan Karp noted the past year has been “very challenging” with elementary school consolidation and redistricting as well as budget deficits and hiring and spending freezes. She noted Bookman not only “excels as an educator, but is also a leader and advocate for education.”
“Dr. Bookman does an excellent job keeping us focused on our mission statement, at looking at the changing needs of our students from technology to curriculum improvements to really celebrating the accomplishments,” she said.
Karp noted that Bookman’s job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week and while things are planned for, there are things that “demand attention immediately.”
“And the buck always stops with Dr. Bookman,” she said. “He’s the one to get the phone call. He has to respond immediately and to the best of his ability … I have 100 percent confidence in those decisions. They are made well. They are made thoughtfully.”
Board member Rosemary Coggeshall said Bookman “sets the tone for the school system that is known nationally and internationally.” Board member Douglas C. Foyle said Bookman has a “steady hand through crisis” and provides “wisdom on difficult issues.”
Board vice-chairman Jeremy Grieveson said Bookman is held in “very high esteem by peers throughout the state.”
“The vision you have brought to this position has very well served the town and its students,” he said.
Bookman deflected the praise off himself and onto fellow administrators and teachers.
“It’s a team effort,” Bookman said. “We are all in this together and we all have the same goals and we all want to see the same thing. When we all work together, it really does work.”