Seattle finally has a new schools superintendent.
The School Board tonight formally made José Banda its next leader, unanimously approving a three-year contract for him to become the school district’s fifth superintendent in the past decade.
Banda flew in for the vote.
“I am just honored and humbled by this selection and by being given this great honor and opportunity,” he said in a short speech.
The contract, negotiated by School Board President Michael DeBell, includes a base salary of $270,000 in addition to a $22,000 annual annuity, a $700 monthly allowance for vehicle expenses, 30 paid vacation days and other benefits.
The contract will make Banda the highest paid superintendent in the state when he starts July 1. The base salary is $6,000 more than former Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson made. By comparison, Mayor Mike McGinn makes about $160,000 a year.
DeBell said the salary is appropriate given how demanding nature of the job.
During public testimony, several members of the public welcomed the new superintendent.
“There are very, very many of us in the community, in the school district that would volunteer to help, and we do not want to see the district fail,” district activist Dorothy Neville said.
Banda has pledged to spend his first year getting to know the community without making major changes.