Elizabeth Homan, 2022 Elizabeth Homan given five-year contract renewal.

 UPDATED: The School Committee at its March 16 meeting announced a "successor contract employment agreement" with Dr. Elizabeth C. Homan, who has been superintendent of Arlington Public Schools since July 2021. This agreement is to run for a term of five years, coinciding with the full implementation period of the proposed APS Strategic Plan.

According to a news release issued by APS on March 17, Homan’s compensation for fiscal year 2023-2024 now is $220,000; compensation includes an eventual retention bonus for fulfilling the five-year contract. Per the terms of her original contract, Homan was to have been paid $204,000 for fiscal year 2023-2024.

Responding to a YourArlington inquiry, School Committee Chair Liz Exton said that the committee vote March 16 was unanimous and that the $25,000 bonus is due to be paid to Homan at the end of June 2028.  “The intention of the retention bonus is to encourage the superintendent to fulfill the entire duration of her contract,” Exton said March 17.  

In preparing to negotiate the new agreement, the release says, the School Committee reviewed school-superintendent compensation terms from comparable districts, including the “town manager 12” municipalities with demographics similar to those of Arlington – Belmont, Brookline, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Natick, Needham, North Andover, Reading, Stoneham, Watertown and Winchester. The “town manager 12” concept was developed about 10 years ago by former Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.

Aims to support stable leadership

The release says the committee's intent is to support stable leadership at a time when high-quality school superintendents are in demand, adding  that there are some three dozen active superintendent searches statewide currently, with more expected.

school committee 120517During presentation of Homan’s first-year evaluation, at the Nov. 17, 2022, School Committee meeting, she was rated proficient. At that time, committee members praised her leadership and noted her achievements including a Pandemic Return to School plan; new district vision, mission and strategic priorities; a revised, values-based budget process; and improved transparency and consistency of school improvement plans.

“Her leadership in the coming years will provide stability to the district to advance the goals of the proposed strategic plan to ensure equity in education, empower all staff, promote collaborative partnerships with families and to commit to infrastructure improvements,” said Exton in the statement. “Dr. Homan leads a talented team to support our educators, and, most importantly, our students and families.”

Since becoming superintendent July 1, 2021, Homan has focused on listening to stakeholders -- APS staff, students, families and the greater community -- to develop new vision and mission statements for the district, Exton said. She added that Homan had initiated instructional leadership teams, ably navigated the health/safety of students/staff during the pandemic and focused on creating a sense of belonging in the APS community.

As superintendent, Homan, 38, is in charge of the district’s major building project – the still-under-construction Arlington High School – collective bargaining, operating budget, capital improvements, all 11 school buildings, more than 1,100 employees and some 6,000 students.

Contacted by YourArlington for further comment, she provided the following statement via email March 18: 

“I hope that families, students, and staff will see this successor contract as an indication that I am deeply committed to the success of Arlington's schools and to seeing through the commitments of the five-year plans we have developed in partnership with the community.

“I believe leadership stability is important to the work we have set out to do to improve equitable outcomes and inclusive programming for our students. I am very grateful for the School Committee’s ongoing support and for the opportunity to continue my tenure in Arlington. Arlington is a truly special town, and I am honored and humbled to serve its students, staff, and families for the next five years, and hopefully many more after that.” 

Nov. 19, 2022: Homan rated proficient; assistant super leaving; new position in works

This news summary published Saturday, March 18, 2023, is based on a March 17 news release from Arlington Public Schools; followup comments received from School Committee Chair Liz Exton; plus information from YourArlington's files and archives. It was updated later March 18 to delete a shorter statement from the news release in favor of a similarly themed but expanded statement directly from the superintendent conveyed via email.

Donate button, 275pxThis reporting demonstrates your donations at work to support democracy here.YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.Your contributions are tax-deductible.Donate here >>