ACUSHNET — The Town of Acushnet has ratified a contract with the school department's newest superintendent.

Dr. Paula Bailey, the former longtime principal at Keith Middle School in New Bedford, has entered into a four-year contract with Acushnet Public Schools. Bailey will earn $138,000 per year, according to Sarah Gomes, Chair of the Acushnet School Committee. The contract was finalized on Tuesday, says Gomes.

Under the terms of her contract, Bailey will join the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents' Superintendent Leadership Licensure Program. Although Bailey already holds a superintendent license, the program is designed to mentor new superintendents.

Gomes says Bailey's "drive and determination" and her willingness to "exceed expectations" is what encouraged a unanimous 5-0 vote by the Acushnet School Committee on March 8, confirming her as the new superintendent.

Bailey received her doctorate from Northeastern University in Education and Educational Leadership.