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Mt. Ephraim BOE Disagrees On Superintendent Search

By Leigh Anne Hubbs

Gloucester City News

Now that Superintendent Joseph Rafferty has announced his resignation effective June 30, members of the Mount Ephraim School Board have three options in hiring a new superintendent.

They are to hire a new superintendent, promote from within the school district, or enter a shared services agreement with another district.

Board of Education (BOE) President Dominick Cipolone said he wanted to start searching as soon as possible, since summer is quickly approaching.

He made a motion during last week’s BOE meeting to have NJSBA (New Jersey School Boards Association) perform a superintendent search for a fee of $7,000.

Although the motion carried, Board Members Nicholas Salamone Jr. and Carl Ingram voted against it, stating that the process is moving too fast because they have not had time to investigate the other options.

The NJSBA will provide candidates for a replacement, but will not assist the district in searching for a shared superintendent.

Also, it has been stated at the April 23 meeting that the School Board would get a chance to meet with the Camden County Superintendent to discuss the options. Salamone and Ingram wanted to have this meeting prior to this vote.

Salamone said that this process should not be rushed as curriculum instruction is in need of improvement, adding that in an Audubon High freshman remedial math class, 22 of the 25 students are from Mt. Ephraim.

Principal Michael Hunter stated that those numbers are pretty accurate, but that the budget has a major impact.

In other news, it had been announced in January that Mount Ephraim was one of three districts in the Delaware Valley chosen to participate in the NFL Play 60 competition, which encourages children to be active for 60 minutes per day.

Students in grades fourth through eighth logged over 600,000 minutes of physical activity during the six-week competition.

Homeroom 7B had logged the most minutes, and will be rewarded with a tour of Lincoln Financial Field in June.

Board Members heard a presentation by Brown and Brown Benefit Advisors regarding the proposed renewals. Brown and Brown has been the district’s broker since 2007, and the company represents 285 New Jersey school districts.

During the meeting, the Preschool Lottery was performed where 27 families hoped to be chosen for one of the 18 available slots.

The first 18 numbers drawn were awarded a seat in next year’s preschool class, and the remaining students have been “waitlisted.”

Superintendent Rafferty thanked the staff and residents of Mt. Ephraim for their kindness and support, and stated that he will cherish the time that he spent in the district.

April Student of the Month winners were: 1st grade Joshua Dockery, 2nd grade Brenden Greene, 3rd grade Kelly Loughlin, 4th grade Shannon Hyde, 5th grade Robert Snyder, 6th grade Kenzie Calhoun, 7th grade Lindsay Musselman and 8th grade Courtney Bocchicchio.

The next BOE meeting will be Monday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Kershaw School’s Media Center.