Peter Sanchioni said his achievements since taking over as superintendent for Natick Public Schools in 2008 are a result of a dedicated staff and school committee that are all on the same page when it comes the town's students.
And it's because of that commitment he agreed this week to a three-year contract extension.
"I'm not surprised (by the offer)," he said. "It was a mutual decision (with the school committee). Everything is going real well, let's keep the contract at the maximum. I was pleased to accept that."
The new deal will expire on June 30, 2019.
"The committee considered carefully several important reasons to extend the contract, including prospects of retaining a proven performer, strengthened ability for the superintendent to lead a complex and diverse organization, capacity to follow through on some important initiatives that are in process, and a vision of strong team leadership," Committee Chair Dirk Coburn told Natick Patch in an email. "The two premier qualities that make him a strong superintendent are his educational focus on the student and his clear goal-driven leadership."
Sanchioni said he believes most residents think he's most proud of the opening of the new high school and implementing the one-to-one program (one student, one laptop), but that those thoughts couldn't be further from the truth.
"I do consider that to be a great achieve," he said, "but I reflect upon the 22-member team around me, and the building of that team. We've got some phenomenal principals and a central office staff. And I always tell them, 'You make me look great.' It's a great working environment. Everyone is focused on the right things, and it's rare when it happens. I feel really good about it."
Coburn agreed, but lauded Sanchioni for:
- Having a specific background that gave Natick early leadership in anti-bullying, both district-wide and at each level;
- An increased budgetary responsiveness to educational needs and opportunities;
- Promoting a strong hiring philosophy and skills;
- Increasing Natick's reputation for innovation and professional empowerment have made it an attractive district for prospective applicants ... among others.
Sanchioni said although he never loses focus on student achievement, he is keeping a close eye the common core implementation, and the disappearance of the MCAS next year, which will be replaced by PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).
"We still have work to be down. I'd like us to raise our SATs," he said. "When I look around, I'd like us to build a new (Kennedy) middle school in next five years, and make our facilities top notch. I'm also looking into increasing the number of years of foreign language for students."
Sanchioni said when the school committee brought up a possible extension, he was asked one question: Why stay in Natick?
"I feel fortunate to work with them and have their support and confidence," he said. "It gives you motivation to do the best you possibly can."
Exact figures of Sanchioni's contract were not available at the time of publication.