The Kennett Consolidated School District has reached an agreement with Superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti on a five-year contract extension.

The school board unanimously approved the agreement on Monday night. Tomasetti’s current contract was set to expire on January 26, 2015. The school board was required to notify Tomasetti at least 150 days prior to the expiration of the current contract as to whether he would be retained for another term. The new contract extends from Jan. 27, 2015 to Jan. 26, 2020.

School board members said that they were pleased to extend Tomasetti’s tenure with the district.

 “We’ve all been pleased with Dr. Tomasetti’s work,” said board vice president Douglas B. Stirling. “We’ve seen a lot of changes for the better. The students’ {test} scores have improved over time.”

Stirling recalled serving on the Superintendent Search Committee that selected Tomasetti from a pool of dozens of candidates in a national search in 2009. Tomasetti was the first person interviewed in the process and left a lasting impression, Stirling said.

Board member Michael Finnegan said that Tomasetti has tackled some of the goals that he and the school board established together even though the district was going through challenging economic times when he came on board.

 Rudy Alfonso echoed Finnegan’s comments.

“You have guided us through troubled waters and gotten us to the other side,” said Alfonso, a school board member. He added that Tomasetti has been a very strong leader who has a vision for the district’s future.

Board member Joseph Meola lauded Tomasetti for his ability to communicate the district’s goals with the community.

Tomasetti said that the most challenging part of coming to the Kennett Consolidated School District was the financial crisis that school districts across the state were experiencing at the time as a result of the economic recession. Through a lot of work, the district was able to avoid making cuts to educational programs.

“I’m most proud of the fact that learning has improved and we haven’t cut programs,” Tomasetti said. “We’ve had to make difficult decisions to keep all the programs intact.”

Tomasetti credited the school board with making some very difficult—and smart—decisions that helped the district keep the focus on educational opportunities for students. He called the administrators that he works with the backbone of the district, and said that everyone contributes to the district’s success.

“It’s a team effort,” Tomasetti said.

The superintendent added that the district has been very good for his family as well, including the three children who have been attending Kennett schools.

 “It’s been a great place and my kids have really flourished here,” Tomasetti said. “The teachers have been great.”

Tomasetti previously helmed the Mifflinburg Area School District in central Pennsylvania for ten years. He also served as the Director of Elementary Education in Harrisburg’s Central Dauphin School District, which has one of the largest student populations in the state.

Tomasetti’s 30-year career in education also includes a stint as a teacher in a school on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. He was a principal of elementary schools in both the Easton Area School District and the Fort Bend Independent School District in Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from the University of Houston. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.