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Board of Education Renews Superintendent Joe Gothard’s Contract for Three More Years

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Nov. 15, 2022) -- The Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) Board of Education voted to approve Superintendent Joe Gothard’s next contract at the November 15 regular Board meeting in a 7-0 vote. The new three-year contract begins July 1, 2023, and goes through June 30, 2026. The Superintendent’s current contract was set to expire on June 30, 2023.

Dr. Gothard received high marks from the Board on his most recent performance review, receiving a rating of “highly effective” in four out of six areas. At the time, the Board wrote that it “unanimously favors entering negotiations to renew his contract and looks forward to continued growth and partnership.”

Chair Vue echoed this sentiment on Tuesday night, remarking how far SPPS has come and where the district is going. “I want to focus on working in the present to shape the future of Saint Paul Public Schools,” he said.

Dr. Gothard joined SPPS in July 2017. After an extensive community engagement process, he launched a five-year strategic plan, SPPS Achieves, to focus the district’s efforts on seven long-term student outcomes.

In November 2018, Saint Paul voters approved an increase to the district’s operating levy, resulting in approximately $18.6 million in additional school funding each year starting in the 2019-20 school year and continuing for 10 years. 

In March 2020, the Saint Paul Federation of Educators went on strike for three days, reaching a settlement before the Governor’s emergency order to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Gothard’s steadfast leadership was essential during this time of uncertainty as he directed district staff to work in entirely new ways to serve students and families.

SPPS began the 2020-21 school year in distance learning, bringing students back in phases starting that fall and into the spring. The district resumed the 2021-22 school year in person and made continual adjustments throughout the year based on CDC guidelines and changing Board policies.

Vice Chair Jessica Kopp thanked the Board for their thoughtful consideration throughout the contract negotiation process. “There is belief within this Board in the ability of the Superintendent to lead Saint Paul Public Schools into a bright and beautiful future,” she said.

Today, Dr. Gothard is among a minority of superintendents in the country’s largest urban districts who have stayed in the same role since before the pandemic. He remains committed to guiding the district’s students to achieving the long-term outcomes that the strategic plan originally set out to reach. 

“I want to thank the Board of Education and the Saint Paul community at large for placing their trust in me to lead our district in achieving equitable outcomes for all students,” Dr. Gothard said. “I am counting on everyone to continue to hold me accountable over the next three years.”

Dr. Gothard’s new contract includes a base salary of $256,000 in year one, with a 1.96% increase in each of the subsequent years. The Superintendent must “devote substantially all his time, attention and efforts to the affairs of the School District.” The Board of Education will formally review the Superintendent’s performance at the conclusion of each contract year, and the contract can be terminated for cause, by mutual agreement or resignation.

The new contract is available in the November 15 Board Book. Learn more about Dr. Gothard on the Superintendent website.