Eric Hartwig, who became interim superintendent in the Portola Valley School District in October, has agreed to stay another school year, through June 2017, the district announced Friday.
Mr. Hartwig was an English teacher in middle and high schools before becoming assistant principal at Capuchino High School, and then principal at Menlo-Atherton, a job he held for nine years.
His hiring as interim superintendent was announced in October at the same time the district announced the abrupt departure of the former superintendent, Lisa Gonzales. At that time, the district said it would begin looking for a permanent superintendent in January.
"What can I say but that I am a failure," Mr. Hartwig said in a message sent Friday afternoon to district parents. "I failed at retirement, and now I've failed to stick to my 8-month commitment" to serve as interim superintendent.
He said that he had agreed to stay for several reasons, including that he enjoys working with the staff, students and parents in the district; the challenges of helping the board plan for the district's future; and the fact that his wife, Debbie, is not quite ready to retire from her job as a seventh-grade language arts teacher.
"This is exciting work, much more fulfilling than trying to learn golf," he said. "Not easier, but definitely more satisfying."
Although it is not mentioned in his note, it probably also helps that the district's proposed contract would give Mr. Hartwig a close to 15 percent raise. He will be paid a base salary of $210,000 a year; up from the $183,000 base salary he is currently receiving.
The district's governing board will vote on extending Mr. Hartwig's contract at its Feb. 3 meeting.
The announcement, signed by the board members, says that since his arrival, "Mr. Hartwig has quickly assimilated into our community, and has brought his abundance of experience in education ... to bear in moving our district forward."
"We feel very fortunate that Mr. Hartwig is able to stay with us through the 2016-17 school year, and believe deeply that this continuity will allow the district to keep its focus on key initiatives while providing the opportunity for further development of our internal staff under the mentorship of Mr. Hartwig," the announcement says.