Detroit school board votes to approve contract of Duval schools superintendent Nikolai Vitti

DETROIT — Detroit Public School leaders approved on Friday night a contract offer for current Duval County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the board voted 7-0 to offer Vitti a five-year deal.

The offer would pay $295,000 for the first two years, $303,000 in the third year, $312,000 in the fourth year and $322,000 in the fifth year.

Duval County School Board chair Paula Wright said Vitti's last day will be May 21. Here is her full statement:

"Today, the school board for the Detroit Public Schools Community District has voted to approve Dr. Nikolai Vitti's contract for Superintendent. As Chairman of the Duval County School Board, I wish to express my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Nikolai Vitti on this next step in his professional career. I know that he will be passionate, dedicated, and committed to the children, families, and community of Detroit. As a result, we have been informed that Dr. Vitti's last day with Duval County Public Schools will be effective on May 21, 2017. As this transition comes to a close, new opportunities for leadership begins immediately. On Monday, May 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm, we will host a special board meeting to discuss the next steps in naming an interim superintendent, and the hiring of a search firm for a permanent superintendent. As a board, we are entrusted with governing a district through progressive policies that best serve families, employees, and most importantly, students. Our next superintendent will have a great opportunity to serve a wonderful community full of spirit and desire to see the youth of Duval County reach their full potential. All members of the Duval County School Board are looking forward to the next chapter in identifying and naming our next superintendent."

Vitti released the following statement:

"The DPSCD school board's vote this evening is bittersweet in that I have the opportunity to return to the city that I deeply love while leaving a city that has largely supported me and my family over past four years. I have accepted this great challenge and opportunity because it defines who I am as a leader and person.

"‎I am profoundly grateful to the DPSCD school board for granting me the privilege, honor, and responsibility to lead the city's new school district. I have stated from the beginning that there needed to be a match between the new school board and me. I believe that this connection was evident from the moment we started to know each other. We have the same passion and vision for the children of Detroit and we both accept the responsibility to ensure their success. I have no doubt that we will make the school district a leader in urban education once again by working as a team with children as our focus.

"It is important that I begin this work as soon as possible and therefore I will be starting the week of May 22nd. This is why I have been focusing on my current role as superintendent in Duval County since I was named a finalist to ensure that everything under my responsibility was handled with detail and strategy to provide for a healthy transition. I thank the Duval County School Board for their support throughout this process.

"I cannot thank my team enough for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. This includes all district and school based administrators, support staff, and teachers. Our collective work has made a difference in the lives of the children we serve. I am especially appreciative to those in the business, faith based, and non-profit communities who were always ready and willing to assist in making the lift of change lighter.

"I leave the district knowing that it is in a better state than when I started. There is still much to complete and I hope the Duval County School Board will select a leader that will continue to make hard decisions in the best interest of children."