Ventnor Educational Community Complex


VENTNOR – Superintendent of Schools Carmela Somershoe will be sticking around for a few more years. At its meeting Wednesday, July 27, the Board of Education approved a new five-year contract for Somershoe, who rose to the top post in 2020 after former Superintendent Eileen Johnson retired.

Although her original contract was for three years, the board agreed to renegotiate her contract before it expired.

Ventnor Superintendent of Schools Carmela Somershoe

“Dr. Somershoe has done a wonderful job,” board member Michael Hagelgans said. “I’m very excited the fact that we have locked her up for a little while longer.”

“On behalf of the board, thank you for everything you have done,” board President Douglas Biagi said following the unanimous vote.

Ventnor Education Association President Michelle Masterman gave the appointment a thumbs up.

“It’s no surprise that the teachers and staff support her, and we are very happy that she will be here for another five years,” she said during public comment.

The new contract will provide Somershoe with an increase in salary and benefits. When she was appointed to the role in 2020, her starting salary was $140,000, nearly $14,000 less than her predecessor. The new contract awards her a starting salary of $160,000 with 3% raises in years two and three, and 2% raises in years four and five.

Somershoe has a doctorate in education and has completed her mentorship period. She will serve as superintendent and principal of the Elementary School, which includes pre-kindergarden through grade two. She has been an educator for 26 years, starting as a third grade teacher in Lawrence Township Cumberland County. She has experience as a reading coach and curriculum supervisor.

In her report to the board, Somershoe said she and Facilities Supervisor Ron Fenton recently attended a NJ Department of Education Office of School Preparedness security training program that was based on recent “lessons learned” and that the district would be implementing changes in line with the guidance on the latest policies and procedures. Somershoe also said teachers will participate in a professional development workshop on diversity at the beginning of the school year.

In other business, the board approved the appointment of Kaitlyn Lupinski and Bridget Tracy as full-time special education teachers in the Middle School. Both are replacing teachers who resigned and will earn a starting salary of $60,238. It also hired Victoria Marchiani to fill in for a teacher on leave until Nov. 14. The board also approved hiring Richard Stephens as a full-time instructional aid to replace someone who resigned.

The board also heard a report from Cafeteria Supervisor Patricia Pettigrosso, who said the district served 132,000 meals this year, including for Margate students. Starting in September, students who do not qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program will no longer be able to receive free lunches and snacks through pandemic relief funds and will be required to pay for their lunches. Prices for the 2022-2023 school year are $3.25 for a full lunch, $2 for full breakfast and $1.10 for snacks.


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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.