By Tom Tolen /

Displaying confidence in his leadership abilities and his performance over nearly two years, the Brighton Board of Education unanimously voted to extend Superintendent Matthew Outlaw's contract at its meeting Monday night.

Outlaw, who has been Brighton’s superintendent since October of 2020, also received a glowing evaluation from the board.

After an executive session, the board voted 5-0 to approve an extension to Outlaw's contract, whose new expiration date is June 30, 2027. Board Trustees Alicia Reid and John Conely had to leave the meeting early and as a result did not vote on the contract extension. Conely, a frequent critic of district policies and practices, told WHMI Tuesday that Outlaw is doing a good job and he would have voted in favor of the contract extension.

Other than the extension, the terms of Outlaw's contract remain the same. His salary, which is $185,000 per year, was not addressed.

Outlaw earned a rating of "highly effective" in his annual performance evaluation. It is the highest possible rating and considers areas such as Community Relations, Business and Finance, Educational Leadership, and Student Growth and Achievement.

Following the closed-door meeting, Board President Roger Myers read a prepared statement, saying, "Supt. Outlaw arrived in the district in the middle of the COVID pandemic, and despite those challenging circumstances has been an exceptional leader.” Myers added, in his words, "We look forward to the bright future ahead for the Brighton Area Schools with Dr. Outlaw as our superintendent.”

Outlaw told WHMI after the meeting that, in his words, “We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I'm looking forward to working with the board in the future.” He praised district employees and the board for their selfless work and dedication.

As superintendent, Outlaw presides over a school district with 850 employees and 5,804 students in grades pre-K-through-12.

The next regular meeting of the Brighton Board of Education will be held on May 9th in the new STEAM Center, which is nearing completion on the high school campus. STEAM is an acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics.

Plans are for the district, as a result of the STEAM Center, to be able to provide future leaders in those important, emerging fields. There will be a brief ceremony to dedicate the center, followed by an open house, with the 7pm meeting to follow.