With contract talks with teachers headed to arbitration and a legal battle looming over the high school playing fields, the newly appointed superintendent of Martha’s Vineyard schools will have a full plate when he begins work July 1.

But Richie Smith appeared eager for the challenge Thursday as the all-Island school committee voted 11-3 to appoint him to succeed Dr. Matthew D’Andrea, who is resigning to take the superintendent’s job in Wareham.

“My intention would be working hand in hand with the school committee. It’s going to take all of us to really move to succeed,” Mr. Smith said, adding that he would like to make some changes at the district’s central office — including leaving his current position as assistant superintendent unfilled.

“Being a superintendent allows you to be visionary,” he told the committee. “Part of the vision would be to slow down on filling the position that I would vacate, and really consider a restructuring of the central office . . . based on principals’ and school needs.”

The committee’s vote ends the need to form a search committee for Mr. D’Andrea’s replacement. Earlier, the committee had voted 7-5 to make Mr. Smith the acting superintendent, but he declined to take the job on an interim basis.

While assistant superintendents are optional, state law prohibits school districts from operating without a superintendent in place.

The former principal of the Oak Bluffs School, Mr. Smith had been a finalist for superintendent in 2015 when Mr. D’Andrea, then assistant superintendent, was given the top job. Shortly after his appointment, Mr. D’Andrea brought Mr. Smith on as assistant superintendent.

Mr. Smith’s two-year appointment is subject to contract negotiations, and the committee said it would evaluate his performance at the end of one year.

“He has a leg up,” said Amy Houghton, who chairs the personnel subcommittee, and was among those who voted in favor of his appointment. Others committee members voting in favor were Roxane Ackerman, Jen Cutrer, Kate DeVane, Robert Lionette, Rizwan Malik, Kris O’Brien, Alex Salop, Laura Seguin, Kathryn Shertzer and Mike Watts.

Voting against his appointment were Kimberly Kirk, Louis Paciello and Skipper Manter.

Following the vote, chairwoman Kate DeVane told the school committee that contract negotiations with the teachers union have come to a standstill with state arbitration the only way forward.

Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Educators Association, a local chapter of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, held signs and protested at the start and end of the school day Thursday after rejecting the latest of three offers from the district.

“We have reached an impasse, which we tried to get by three times,” Ms. DeVane told the committee during an hour-long Zoom meeting that drew more than 120 participants early Thursday evening.

“We’ve tried really hard. They’ve tried really hard. We’re now moving to the first step of arbitration, which is called fact finding,” she said.

Teachers and a negotiating committee made up of representatives from the all-Island committee have been in talks over a new three-year contract for Island teachers.

Mike Watts, who with Ms. DeVane represented the district in negotiations, said despite two rounds of state mediation, the two sides have been unable to agree on the annual percentage rate of raises for teachers

The district’s proposed compensation package relies on other factors as well, including longevity and education levels, Mr. Watts said.

“There’s a larger compensation piece that’s connected,” he told committee members.

Ms. DeVane said she would have more information on the fact-finding phase of arbitration next week.

“We are in this impossible position,” she said.

“We understand that it has been incredibly hard for teachers over the last two years. We also understand that they do amazing work every day . . . We don’t relish this,” she continued. “It’s just that we also have a responsibility to the people who have jobs at the supermarket, and the [teaching assistants] and the custodians and the food service workers, and we have a responsibility to taxpayers — that’s really our job,” she said.

“This is our fiduciary duty to the towns we represent, and it’s very, very hard.”

The task became even more complicated this week with a new agreement among all six Island towns that the high school budget increase by no more than 2.5 per cent each year, or seek voter approval to go above that threshold.

The discussion was scheduled to be held in executive session, but Mr. Manter and Ms. Houghton urged that the meeting take place in public.

Ms. Houghton argued that the labor dispute had already become a public matter with the morning demonstrations by teachers.