Portland School Superintendent Xavier Botana received an outstanding leadership award Monday from the Maine School Superintendents Association.

Botana was recognized at an awards ceremony during the Maine Department of Education’s 109th annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, which is being held Sunday through Tuesday at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel in Bar Harbor.

Portland School Superintendent Xavier Botana

The award recognizes superintendents for leadership, exemplary educational programs and service to the profession of education.

Portland school board Chair Emily Figdor said she could think of no one more deserving.

“Xavier is such an exemplary leader that I feel humbled and honored to work with him every day,” Figdor said in a written statement. “Xavier leads with integrity, rigor, focus, grace, courage and compassion. He has a deep moral commitment to our students and particularly students who are marginalized by our society. And he is a visionary and powerful force for equity, which is the key defining challenge of our district.”

Botana said he was honored by the award.

“It is especially meaningful to me because I was nominated by my peers, other superintendents in my region,” Botana said. “I am grateful for their support and also for that of various champions of education in our community.”

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