Joe McDevitt


VENTNOR – The Ventnor City Board of Education will hold a special meeting noon on Friday, Feb. 5 to appoint Michael Advena to replace Joe McDevitt, who died from complications of COVID-19 on Jan. 21, as the city’s representative on the Atlantic City Board of Education. Advena will be the city’s representative for the remainder of the school year.

Ventnor is a Type A school district with the mayor appointing school board members. McDevitt’s seat on the Ventnor board will remain vacant until a suitable replacement is appointed.

The city also has a sending-receiving relationship with Atlantic City, with high school students attending Atlantic City High School on a tuition basis. McDevitt was appointed Nov. 18, 2020 to serve as the city’s representative to Atlantic City. He replaced Ventnor school board member and current Vice-president Kim Bassford, who served as the liaison for several years but declined reappointment.

McDevitt was originally appointed to the Ventnor board on July 15, 2020, but due to the pandemic, his participation wasn’t cleared until Aug. 1, 2020. His term of office expires in May 2022.

“We are looking for persons of interest who want to serve on our board and request those interested to send us a letter outlining their qualifications,” Mayor Beth Holtzman said early Wednesday morning. “It’s hard to just jump in and replace someone without doing our due diligence.”

Holtzman said it was not urgent to replace McDevitt on the Ventnor board, “but it is more pressing to have someone representing us in Atlantic City.”

The next Atlantic City Board of Education meeting is slated for Feb. 16, and a special executive meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20.

Holtzman said the Board of Commissioners is concerned about the pending increase in tuition paid to the high school and requested a meeting with Atlantic City Superintendent Barry Caldwell and Ventnor professionals.

“We haven’t had that meeting, but we do have a positive open line of communication with Barry Caldwell,” Holtzman said.

Both boards are in the process of reviewing their budgets for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Ventnor board meeting on Friday will be held via telecommunication and members of the public will be able to attend virtually.

Visit to obtain login instructions and the agenda.


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Categories: Ventnor

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.