CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Board added a year to Superintendent Meredith Nadeau’s contract on Tuesday, with most members saying they want to keep her through the implementation of a strategic plan, despite allusions to staff morale problems.

The board voted 6-1 to extend Nadeau’s contract to June 2018 less than three weeks after she learned that she didn’t get a superintendent’s position in Weston, Massachusetts, for which she was recruited by a “headhunter.”

Several board members were effusive in their praise of Nadeau, including David Hillman, who described her as brilliant and honorable, compared her to a star baseball pitcher and said she is one of the best superintendents in Maine.

“We almost lost her,” Hillman said. “There’s way too much competition out there. … She’s one of the best in the state, if not the best.”

Board member John Christie said he “enthusiastically” supported Nadeau’s contract extension, adding that she’s the kind of leader who takes responsibility for setbacks and gives credit for others’ successes.

Member Barbara Powers cast the sole vote against the contract extension, saying she had a “difficult time” with the board’s desire to extend a contract that has 2½ years left without addressing performance review concerns.

Powers, who recently retired as Falmouth’s superintendent and is new to the board, alluded to morale problems in the town’s schools and noted the need for an independent evaluation of the “climate” in the district.

“I feel this has been a fairly rushed decision,” Powers said.

After the meeting, board Chairman Joanna Morrissey acknowledged that the teachers union had submitted the results of a staff survey that indicated some employees have “trust” issues related to their working environment.

Morrissey said she didn’t have a copy of the survey. Mark Ashe, president of the Cape Elizabeth Education Association, declined to comment or provide a copy of the survey.

Morrissey said the board is committed to implementing the 2013-2018 strategic plan and supporting staff members in making changes that improve the educational experience for all students.

Nadeau has a master’s degree in special education and a certificate of advanced studies in educational administration from the University of New Hampshire. She’s working on a doctorate in special education from Boston University.

When Nadeau was hired in June 2011, her annual salary was $123,000. Her annual salary for the next 3½ years is $132,000, Morrissey said.

Nadeau was one of three finalists for superintendent of the Weston public schools. When she lost her bid for that job, she said “I’m happy to be where I am” and promised to work with the school board to smooth any “implementation bumps” related to the strategic plan.