It's official: Erik Burmeister will become the new superintendent of the Menlo Park City School District on July 1, when Maurice Ghysels steps down. On Oct. 18, the district's governing board approved a three-year contract with a base salary of $223,000 a year.
The contract says he can participate in any "health and welfare benefits programs" available to other full-time certificated employees, but has to pay his own costs. He will receive a $250 a month vehicle allowance and 25 days of paid vacation a year. He is currently paid a $192,045 base salary with 20 days of vacation and a $2,000 annual transportation allowance.
The salary Mr. Burmeister will be paid is less than that of the superintendent of the nearby one-school Woodside Elementary School District. There, superintendent Beth Polito, as of the beginning of 2016 was making more than $230,000 a year including a guaranteed 10 percent annual longevity bonus.
Mr. Burmeister will head a district with five schools in Menlo Park and Atherton and close to 3,000 students. Woodside Elementary has about 400 students.
The district will celebrate Mr. Burmeister's new job when the school board meets Wednesday, Nov. 9, starting at 6 p.m. in the Hillview Middle School Performing Arts Center, 1100 Elder Ave. in Menlo Park.
Mr. Burmeister has been the district's assistant superintendent for the past year. He was principal of the district's Hillview Middle School from 2012 to 2015, leading it to a 2015 California Gold Ribbon School award.
A statement from the district said that, working with the Stanford Design School, Mr. Burmeister "has become an expert in applying design and innovation to solve a variety of education challenges" including closing the achievement gap, school redesign and technology implementation.
In 2014 Mr. Burmeister was named the "Middle Grades Principal of the Year" by the Association of California School Administrators and was one of the three finalists for the title of "National Middle Grades Principal" by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
In 2012 he was named "Multiplier of the Year in Education," an award given to leaders who "multiply the capabilities of people around them," according to the sponsor of the award, the Wiseman Group, which conducts leadership training workshops.
Mr. Burmeister received bachelor's degrees in both secondary education and communication from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has a master's in educational policy analysis from Stanford University. He speaks Spanish and has been a teacher, coach, activities director, dean, vice principal and principal at middle and/or high school in four school districts.
Mr. Burmeister and his wife, a high school teacher, and two young sons moved to Menlo Park this summer. He and his wife also have an adopted adult son living in Peru.