AUGUSTA – The Augusta Board of Education has renewed Superintendent James Anastasio’s contract by one year with one dissenting vote.

Because of “where he is at in his career,” Superintendent of the Augusta Public Schools, James Anastasio’s contract was only renewed for a year. Screenshot by Emily Duggan

The vote came Wednesday, with board member Kati McCormick as the lone dissenter to renewing Anastasio’s contract. His contract was renewed until June 30, 2023, with a 4% wage increase.

Anastasio’s most recent contract included an annual salary of $129,797 with a 2% increase per year depending on his performance, which he did receive. The contract states he was expected to undergo a yearly review by the board to determine contract renewal.

Anastasio had contracts lasting two or three years at a time during his decade with the Augusta district, whose schools serve about 2,095 students. Board of Education Chairperson Amanda Olson said the one-year contract renewal was requested by Anastasio based on “where he is at in his career.”

Anastasio could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday and Olson declined further comment about the superintendent’s plans.

“Our district has been lucky to have a superintendent with a long-standing commitment to the Augusta school department,” Olson said. 


The other board of education members who were present and voted in favor for his contract: Martha Witham, Rita Pello, Kevin Lamoreau, Kimberly Martin, Staci Fortunato and Pia Holmes, who filled in as chair for Olson, who was absent from Wednesday’s meeting. 

McCormick said the reasoning behind her dissenting vote came as the board has asked to see “forward momentum” in education with technology, transparency and communication for a “several years” and have yet to see it from administration. She specifically pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic and how during that time, technology was “the most important vessel” for education, but despite board efforts, including a new technology committee, the district has not made strides.

“I may not be the ‘expert in education’ or a former teacher or superintendent, like some of my fellow board members, but I am an expert in what has gone on in this district for the better part of a decade,” McCormick said in an interview following her vote. “I did not support the extension of the contract, because in my heart, what I believe is in the best interest of Augusta students is different leadership styles at Cony and in the superintendent’s office. We have lost some very effective and beloved administrators recently to schools outside our district.”

The school district has gone through several administrative changes recently. With the board’s approval Wednesday night, Thomas (TJ) Maines was approved as the athletic director for the district after Jon Millet, the former AD, took on the role of assistant vice principal of Cony Middle and High School in September. 

In July, the board of education approved Mike Tracy as assistant superintendent after former Assistant Superintendent Katy Grondin left to become superintendent of Wales-based Regional School Unit 4. McCormick also was the sole vote against appointing Tracy, saying at the time she was “cautiously optimistic” but “would not be voting” for him. 

Anastasio started in Augusta Public Schools as an interim superintendent in 2013 after former superintendent Cornelia Brown left to take on a new job. He was considered “interim” in the role until 2015 even though, in 2014, the Board of Education approved him for a three-year contract until 2018. 

From there, he received another three-year contract until 2021. In 2020, the board renewed his contract to the 2023 school year. His current contract, the one renewed Wednesday, will have him in the role until 2024. 

“Mr. Anastasio has committed himself to excellence in educational leadership; furthering board goals around technology, innovative and strategic planning,” Olson said of Anastasio. “We are excited to see the continued fruits of his leadership through the many successes of the students we serve.”  

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