Dorchester District 2's school board rated Superintendent Joe Pye exemplary in all categories of his annual evaluation.

The board presented the results of the evaluation in a letter to Pye in a closed-door session Monday. The school district on Thursday sent out a news release and an evaluation letter compiled by its seven members. The district said there is no other documentation. School boards typically release numerical rankings and individual comments about superintendents' performance.

Based on the evaluation, the board extended Pye's contract for an additional year. It will now run through June 30, 2013. The board did not, however, give Pye a raise. He will continue at his $152,136 salary.

School board Chairwoman Frances Townsend said board members were impressed with the way Pye has handled the district during tough economic times.

The district lost $17 million in the past two years, while 1,000 more students enrolled, she said.

Pye juggled the staff to cover open positions, and "he kept children at the forefront," she said.

He has had a long history of commitment to the district, she said. "He has been with us since his early teaching career, and he'll end his career here," she said. "It's his passion and we're able to take advantage of it."

Pye, who also received an exemplary evaluation last year, said he's able to do a good job because "I've surrounded myself with wonderful people."

And he can focus on his work, he said, because he is not aspiring to any other job. He's worked for the district for 37 years, the past 11 years as superintendent.

The board utilized a new review process this year, which was based on goals and objectives in four areas: curriculum and instruction, personnel, community and budget.

Each board member met with Pye individually concerning his performance. Pye said the meetings lasted between two and five hours each. Board members then met and came to a consensus.

Pye said the new system made the process less subjective and he's thrilled with the ratings he received. It's especially important to him that much of his evaluation was based on how he kept the focus on students.

"I'm a teacher at heart. I'm hands on," he said.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or dknich@postandcourier.com.