Portland Public Schools Superintendant Xavier Botana is seen in this 2018 file photo. Botana announced his resignation on Friday amid ongoing issues with the district's payroll system. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Xavier Botana, the superintendent of the Portland Public Schools system, resigned on Friday night amid ongoing payroll issues that have plagued the district for weeks.

Botana’s resignation was accepted by the Portland Board of Public Education on Friday evening, months before his planned retirement in June 2023, according to Tess Nacelewicz, a spokesperson for Portland schools.

The resignation comes after the district experienced widespread payroll issues that have affected salary distribution since October, according to the  Portland Press Herald.

The payroll issues resulted in some employees receiving late or inaccurate paychecks, while some employees were not paid at all, the Press Herald reported. At least 140 employees within the Portland school district reported issues with their paychecks since October.

Many of those employees attended a Dec. 6 school board meeting to express that they had lost trust and faith in the district, the Portland newspaper reported.

Botana accepted responsibility for the payroll issues, and noted that the ongoing challenges influenced his decision to resign.

“I recognize, as the chief executive officer, that I am accountable when things go wrong,” he said to the board on Friday night. “However, I believe my tenure is more than payroll problems.”

The board recognized Botana’s nearly seven years of service to the district, while noting that it had significant challenges ahead to resolve the payroll issues.

The school district continues to work to resolve ongoing payroll issues, and has already started a search for the next superintendent.

Botana will leave the position on Jan. 31, 2023, or when an interim superintendent is found. He also voiced intent to remain available to provide support to the interim superintendent.

Avatar photo

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.