After a series of monthly negotiations, the Martha’s Vineyard all-Island school committee has approved a new, three-year contract for superintendent of public schools Richard Smith.

“I’m super happy,” Mr. Smith told the Gazette this week. “It’s my second year as superintendent, and I feel I’m gaining momentum.”

The vote, held at the committee’s monthly meeting March 7, was unanimous, chair Amy Houghton told the Gazette.

The school committee had already voted unanimously in December to renew Mr. Smith’s employment for three years, subsequently approving a $212,000 salary in the contract’s first year.

However, Mr. Smith said his preferred formula for annual raises led to additional meetings as committee members discussed the proposed new structure, a change to longtime practice.

“It wasn’t [that] people were averse to doing it or anything like that. I just think it was a matter of really getting clarity on both sides about what it was we were looking for,” Mr. Smith said this week.

Every past superintendent’s contract has stipulated either set percentages or specific dollar amounts for salary increases, Mr. Smith told the Gazette.

For his new contract, beginning July 1, Mr. Smith pressed for and ultimately earned a raise structure based strictly on the annual cost of living adjustment determined by the Massachusetts state employee retirement system, plus one-half per cent.

The system’s cost of living adjustment for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, is 3 per cent.

A 22-year employee of the Island school system and formerly its assistant superintendent, Mr. Smith accepted the top job with a two-year agreement in 2022 when his predecessor Matthew D’Andrea left for a mainland district with two years remaining in his contract.

Mr. Smith told the Gazette this week that he views the school committee’s unanimous approval of a full three-year contract as a vote of confidence in the work he has been doing.

“I’m feeling really excited. This is the first really big commitment,” he said.