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Doyle to begin new four-year contract July 1


June 20, 2013
<b>Marie Doyle</b> <br>Reminder Publications submitted photo

Marie Doyle
Reminder Publications submitted photo

By Chris Maza

chrism@thereminder.com

LONGMEAD0W — While the school year is coming to a close, for Longmeadow Public Schools Superintendent Marie Doyle, the end of the month marks the official continuation of her duties overseeing the district.

Doyle will begin a new contract on July 1, according to School Committee Chair Michael Clark, who explained the contract was originally agreed upon in January so as to allow Doyle and the School Committee to focus on larger budgeting issues that were looming.

The four-year pact represents the School Committee's satisfaction with Doyle's performance during her first three years in Longmeadow. Doyle replaced retired Superintendent E. Jahn Hart in 2010.

"We are absolutely happy with Marie's performance and I think her evaluations are representative of that," Clark said. "She's done an incredible job and we're thrilled that she will continue working with us in the district."

Clark said the terms of the contract are essentially the same, with the exception of a 2-percent boost in salary from $161,000 to $163,663.

"That 2 percent increase is in line with the increases in the other administrative contracts and non-union employee contracts," he said.

Additional yearly salary increases would continue to be based upon Doyle's evaluations.

"After her evaluation, we would make a salary offer based on her performance," Clark said. "After the first year, we offered her a 1 percent increase and the past two years she has received 2 percent increases."

Clark credited Doyle with making significant progress with the elementary schools by "shifting the focus to achievement" and raising test scores.

She also brought in the professional learning communities concept, which allow teachers and administrators at different schools to collaborate, exchange ideas and improve the educational experience in the district.

"Marie came in and really took the bull by the horns by saying, 'We have three elementary schools and two middle schools and each one is doing different things and that doesn't make any sense,'" Clark said.

Clark also said Doyle was instrumental in ensuring that students would be able to move into the new high school on schedule.

"She was actually considering not moving into the new building, which would have been a major decision and it really got the contractor's attention that they had to get the project done and done right," he said.

Now in the new building, he said she has continued to work with the contractors and the School Building Committee to debug the issues that exist.

"As with any new building, you're inevitably finding issues and she's really held their feet to the fire when it comes to those punch list items," Clark said. "She's holding them accountable because we want to get those things wrapped up before the move into the renovated wing, which will most likely have its own issues that need to be addressed."

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