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Framingham superintendent headed to Foxborough

Posted by John C. Drake April 6, 2007 12:18 PM

FRAMINGHAM

Framingham superintendent Christopher Martes has accepted an offer to lead the school system in Foxborough, Beverley Lord, a member of the Foxborough School Committee, said.

Martes, who has led the Framingham Public Schools since 2003, was interviewed by the Foxborough School Committee last night after being named the sole finalist by a 13-member search committee. The decision to offer him the position was unanimous, Lord said.

"He was head-and-shoulders above all the other applicants," she told the Globe today.

Martes, who was not immediately available for comment Friday, will be returning home with his new position. He graduated from Foxborough High School in 1971 and began his teaching career in the district.

Phil Dinsky, chairman of the Framingham School Committee, said this morning Martes had not yet informed him of his decision, but that the committee was well aware of the possibility.

"There's no reason to have hard feelings," Dinsky said. "People make choices for what's good for them, and Chris obviously thinks this works better for his career and his life, and that's fine."

Dinsky said he would expect Martes, who earns $192,617 in total annual compensation according to a recent Globe review, to work through the 90-day notice required by his contract, before the School Committee selects an interim leader.

Dinsky said it was too late in the year to begin a superintendent search, as most potential candidates probably have made their plans for the next school year.

But he said he was confident the town would attract a strong new superintendent.

Framingham is "one of the few districts recognized for its ability to bridge the achievement gap between majority and minority students ... and we're a community that's always stood behind education in terms of funding, although we are having a funding problem now."

The school system is working to plug a $1.9 million deficit in funding for special-education.

Lord said the School Committee expects to begin contract negotiations with Martes immediately. Salary for the job starts at $150,000 a year.

Martes has been actively seeking a new post. Earlier this year he was a finalist for superintendent jobs in both Wellesley and Canton.

Town leaders had high praise for Martes' performance in the district in a recent profile of the superintendent by Lisa Kocian of the Globe staff. Read the story here.

-- John C. Drake

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