With little discussion, the Palo Alto school board voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve a three-year contract with Don Austin, the district's new superintendent.
Board President Ken Dauber cast the sole dissenting vote, stating only that his decision was "based on my participation in the process" and that he "would have preferred a different outcome."
Austin is currently the superintendent of the K-12 Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in Los Angeles County, where he was hired in 2014. He previously worked as an assistant superintendent, high school and middle school principal, high school activities director and middle school teacher in Southern California.
Under the contract, Austin will be paid $300,000 and live in a district-owned property with a monthly rent of $1,800.
Austin was selected after the board launched a national search to find a replacement for former Superintendent Max McGee, who resigned in September.
Austin has been described by supporters as a leader and team builder who has made strides in Palos Verdes on student mental health, facilities and the budget. Critics, however, have voiced concerns about a lack of transparency and his management style.
Board member Melissa Baten Caswell said Austin has a "history of effectively bringing teams together and mentoring people.
"I think that bringing the team together is something we're looking forward to," she said.
Austin will start his position in Palo Alto Unified on July 1.