MONROE — The Union County Board of Education has voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Dr. Andrew G. Houlihan’s contract until June 30, 2025, according to a report from the Union County Public Schools communications department. The vote took place at the July 13 meeting in open session.

Houlihan, who was appointed in 2016, was commended for his leadership efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Board members spoke about the challenges Union County Public Schools faced with opening schools in a safe manner and offering a virtual academy for K-12 students.

“It’s been an honor to work with you,” said Board of Education Chair Melissa Merrell. During the pandemic, we were running three school districts—students on Plan A, students on Plan B and a full virtual school. You led us with grace and professionalism and we thank you.”

“I want to thank the Board of Education for all of their support over the past five years,” Houlihan said in the statement. “I am extremely proud to be the superintendent of Union County Public Schools. We have the best educators in the state and it gives me great joy to work with our amazing principals, administrators, teachers and staff each day. I am looking forward to continuing to serve the Union County community.”

The board approved additional compensation for the superintendent. They also voted to provide a salary increase for all seven members of the superintendent’s cabinet staff and extend their contracts until June 30, 2025.

The board unanimously approved a $20,000 raise for Superintendent Andrew Houlihan, according to wfae.org, and that brings his salary to about $253,216 a year.

In May, the Southwest Education Alliance (Region 6) selected Houlihan Southwest Regional Superintendent of the Year; the region includes superintendents from 11 counties.