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Howard County Board of Education Renews Contract for Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano

February 10th, 2022

At its meeting on Feb. 10, 2022, the Howard County Board of Education voted to renew the contract of Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano through the 2025-2026 school year. The Superintendent’s current four-year contract was set to expire on June 30, 2022.

Maryland state law provides a timeline and process for the renewal of a superintendent’s appointment. That process, set out in § 4-201(b) of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, requires the Superintendent to inform the Board if he is seeking a second contract and the Board is required to decide before the end of February whether to renew.

The Superintendent sought a contract that aligned to the terms of the current contract and did not seek an additional increase in salary. The negotiated salary for the next four years is a continuation of the current contract that included an annual .5% salary increase. The Superintendent’s salary increases .5% annually from $289,296 during the final year of the current contract to $290,743 to begin the first year of the new contract. The signed contract, as well as Dr. Martirano’s comments following the signing, are posted online.

“On behalf of the Howard County Board of Education, we are extremely grateful and comforted that Dr. Martirano will remain our Superintendent for the next four years,” said HCPSS Board of Education Chair Vicky Cutroneo. “Nearly five years ago, Dr. Martirano joined the school system as interim superintendent during a very tumultuous time. Since then, first as acting and then as the permanent superintendent, he has successfully addressed major system deficiencies and implemented a comprehensive Strategic Call to Action to guide our system’s work. Through his collaborative leadership, he has worked with our state and county leaders to put the school system on stable financial footing, advance much needed capital projects, and most important of all, leverage funding and resources for special education, student well-being, technology and many other overlooked areas.”

“It is so important for our students, staff and families that our school system retains stable leadership as we navigate the realities of a post-pandemic educational environment. The Howard County Public School System is well positioned to take on these challenges with Dr. Martirano as Superintendent,” added Cutroneo.

At the start of the Superintendent’s current term, he memorialized his priorities through the Strategic Call to Action, which has guided the work of the school district through a lens of equity for all students and staff. Through 15 desired outcomes, the SCTA details the Superintendent’s commitment to all stakeholders and provides accountability towards those efforts.

The Board’s renewal of the Superintendent’s contract was lauded by several leaders in Howard County, including leaders of all HCPSS bargaining units.

“Dr. Martirano has been a collaborative partner throughout the past few years,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We’ve been successful in partnering to eliminate a health fund deficit that grew to $40 million between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 and funding vital school construction and renovations to address school overcrowding with new High School #13, the Talbott Springs replacement, and Hammond High renovations. It is our shared priority to ensure Howard County always has the best public school system in the nation for all of our student and educators, and I look forward to our continued partnership moving forward.”

“This is very good news as what the school system needs most of all right now is proven and consistent leadership,” stated Delegate Courtney Watson, co-chair of Howard County’s General Assembly delegation. “Dr. Martirano has been a steady hand guiding the ship during these extraordinary times. He will be very effective in implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the state’s once in a generation investment in our public schools.”

“I am pleased to hear that the Howard County Board of Education has renewed Dr. Martirano’s contract to continue his service as HCPSS superintendent for the next four years,” said Maryland State Senator Clarence Lam, co-chair of the Howard County General Assembly delegation. “Dr. Martirano has served as superintendent during an historically difficult period of time for our communities and our schools. Whether it was navigating the development and implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future or the incredible challenges of operating a large school system during a pandemic, Dr. Martirano has demonstrated exceptional professionalism and compassion. We commend the Board of Education for recognizing and appreciating the unwavering dedication that Dr. Martirano has brought to his role. Dr. Martirano has been steadfast in his commitment to our community, and he has truly earned this opportunity to extend his leadership of our school system. We appreciate his strong leadership as well as the progress we have made together in recent years, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as we emerge from these difficult times together.”

“I am excited to continue my office’s partnership with a diligent and tenacious leader,” said County Council Chair Opel Jones. “Dr. Martirano has championed steadfast progress in our school system by working with County Executive Ball to secure teacher bonuses, the acquisition of land for two new schools, lessening the health fund deficit, and assisting teachers, students, and parents during COVID-19.”

“Dr. Martirano has made hard decisions as we dealt with a financial crisis during his first few years and now the ongoing pandemic,” stated Colleen Morris, president of the Howard County Education Association representing teachers and other support professionals. “We are fortunate that he leads with this heart and in the best interests of both HCPSS staff and students. We are very excited Dr. M wanted to stay, and our collaborative work on behalf of our students will continue over the next 4 years.”

“The Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA) is extremely pleased that the Board is renewing Dr. Martirano’s contract, said HCASA President Nick Novak. “He has led us through tumultuous times with redistricting, a health care deficit, and the COVID pandemic, but his calm demeanor and positive outlook has been a stabilizing force for HCPSS and the county. Under his leadership, there has been increased transparency, a deeper commitment to equity and well-being, and a high level of engagement with staff students, parents, and the community. HCASA looks forward to continuing to partner with Dr. Martirano as he leads our school system for the next four years.”

“As Union President of AFCSME Local 1899 I would sincerely like to recognize and express my thanks to Dr. Martirano,” Robert Coleman, president of AFSCME Local 1899. “Dr. Martirano’s collaboration with our union to address core issues within the collective bargaining agreement, has been instrumental. He was instrumental in fixing the healthcare deficit, as well as providing needed equipment for our maintenance and grounds departments. Most importantly, under Dr. Martirano, during these unprecedented times – He made sure we had zero layoffs during the pandemic. It is my sincere hope that our partnership will only get stronger, and continue into the better future.