Nantucket Public Schools superintendent Beth Hallett received a new three-year contract last week from the School Committee, which voted unanimously in favor of the new deal that includes a salary increase for Hallett as well as an $800 per month housing allowance.
The vote last week followed an executive session and a favorable evaluation by the School Committee. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2023, and will keep Hallett employed as superintendent through June of 2026.
“Part of the reason why I want to say is that I really love this community,” Hallett told the Current. “I love being here. It has its pros and cons, of course, and it was awfully hard to be a superintendent in the first three years in dealing with COVID. It was a reactionary type of job and some of the work that I feel we did during COVID, we did the best we could, no question. In the end, everyone survived, but it was hard. So I’m excited for the next three years because it’s like a reset. I get to really be a superintendent and deal with things that have been on the back burner as we’ve dealt with health and safety and cleaning.”
Hallett will receive a raise in her base compensation from $184,500 to $205,000 plus the $800 per month housing allowance. Travel and professional development expenses are both covered under the new deal, as they were in Hallett’s previous contract.
Moving into the second full year removed from the pandemic, Hallett said she intends to focus on student achievement, equity, and access for marginalized student groups, and the campus–wide master plan to improve and expand the district’s facilities.
“Last year was our first real year without COVID the way it had been before, but still we were dealing with behavioral issues and students struggling to get back into the swing of things,” Hallett said. “We just couldn’t get back to the way we were and had to make adjustments. So this year, that’s what we’re focusing on: to make sure our students are connected and feel supported and have routines and protocols in place for both staff and students.”
At a time when superintendents across Massachusetts and beyond are under increasing pressure and dealing with challenging issues and politics in their districts, Hallett acknowledged the significance of a unanimous vote from the School Committee in favor of her new contract.
“That’s a huge accomplishment, and I feel very lucky and have worked hard for this,” Hallett said. “Building trust is a very important part of this and coming in I had a group of people who didn’t know me well. So I appreciate their willingness to put their trust in me with another contract. I feel I’ve gained their trust and do feel that I’m an appropriate person to continue leading the district.”
Hallett was hired as the Nantucket Public Schools deputy superintendent in 2019, working one year with former superintendent Mike Cozort before taking over the job in 2020. Before coming to Nantucket, Hallett was the director of secondary education, English language learner education, and academic programs for the Quincy Public Schools.