By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – The school district is considering hiring an interim principal for the Ventnor Middle School to fill in while Principal Rob Baker is out on medical leave.
Due to privacy concerns, Superintendent Carmela Somershoe declined providing any information about Baker’s health status, but said it is unrelated to COVID-19.
It is unknown how long Baker will be away from the district, so the district is considering hiring an interim principal to fill in on a per diem basis.
Somershoe said seeking an interim is “just cautionary” because it is uncertain how long Baker will be out.
“There’s a lot going on in our schools and we just want to be prepared,” she said.
Having a temporary administrator to oversee the middle school is necessary because the district has one less administrator since two administrative positions were combined last year. After a months-long search, Somershoe was appointed superintendent to replace retiring Superintendent Eileen Johnson and maintained her position as principal of the Ventnor Elementary School.
Somershoe said the district posted the temporary position on Friday and advertised through the NJ School Jobs website. The NJ Principals and Superintendents Association also sent out an email to retired administrators. Further advertising may not be necessary, she said.
“We have several applicants already,” she said.
School board President Douglas Biagi said the Board of Education discussed the matter in executive session Jan. 27 and left it up to Somershoe to decide if an interim is needed.
“We left it up to Dr. Somershoe to do whatever is necessary,” Biagi said.
Students are currently attending classes on a hybrid model; however, as of Jan. 25, pre-kindergarten students are in school four days a week, Somershoe said.
“We are looking at the possibility of coming back into school full time,” she said.
If an interim is hired, the appointment would need to be confirmed by the board at a future meeting.
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.
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