The Westbrook School Committee unanimously appointed Dr. Peter Lancia as the city’s new superintendent of schools Wednesday night.

Chairman James Violette said Lancia will begin working immediately under the terms of a three-year contract that pays him an annual salary of $122,000.

Lancia, 49, has worked in Westbrook for 26 years as a teacher, elementary school principal and curriculum director and most recently was the assistant superintendent.

“We are excited about Peter. He has been Maine’s teacher of the year, principal of the year, and curriculum coordinator of the year. He is highly respected around the state,” Violette said.

Lancia replaces Marc Gousse, who left Westbrook this summer to become superintendent of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System.

Lancia earned about $105,000 as an assistant superintendent.

He began his career in Westbrook more than two decades ago as a second-grade teacher. He was Maine’s teacher of the year in 2002.

Lancia lives in Portland with his wife and three children.

The Westbrook School Department has more than 2,500 students in six schools and a budget of about $35 million. Lancia also could oversee a growth in enrollment and a massive school expansion project at Saccarappa School and Westbrook Middle School, the fate of which will likely be decided by ballot in November.

The school expansion would cost about $27.3 million.