William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (AUGUST 17, 2017)(CNBNewsnet)—The Gloucester City Board of Education has hired Dr. Dennis Vespe as Superintendent of Schools for the school years 2017 through 2021, according to Margaret McDonnell, Business Administrator, and Board Secretary. Vespe’s starting salary is $157,500.
He is replacing Joseph Rafferty who will retire on August 31. Rafferty, the former Mt. Ephraim School Superintendent, and a Gloucester City resident was hired in 2012 at a salary of $146,000 plus benefits. He replaced Paul Spaventa who was receiving a salary of $162,000 at the time. Shortly thereafter Rafferty's salary was increased to $151,898.
In 2015 his three-year contract was renewed and his salary was raised to $157,500 annually. The following year Rafferty received a $15,000 merit bonus increasing his salary to $172,500. He returned that bonus to the district in September 2016.
During Rafferty’s tenure, the district faced a $5 million budget deficit in April 2015. The deficit was reduced that fiscal year by several million as the district used money from its reserve to lower it. Even though there were a number of layoffs and school busing was reduced the district’s school tax still increased for the 2015-16 fiscal year. In June 2015, (16) administrators received pay increases that totaled $1.9 million. (see article)
This past April Rafferty surprised everyone when he announced his retirement before the start of the new school year in September. (see article)
When asked about his retirement Rafferty said, "Things are going well in the district. Our student's test scores have improved. U.S. News and World Report named our high school The Best in 2015, our graduation rate has increased from 82 percent to 94.4 percent. Gloucester City School District is one of 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada who was honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. And the new elementary school will open in September. ”
“The Gloucester City School District has been working to create a school environment that looks at a child readiness to learn and build academic lessons that build students the confidence to be successful. Working with the child's learning styles to help them to master information and framing the lessons that highlight their interests. It is great to see the results of the students and teachers hard work. "
Presently Vespe is the school superintendent for the Somerdale K-8 School District. Somerdale Park School is the only school in the Borough of Somerdale with an enrollment of 500 students .(source Great Schools)
The following information about Vespe comes from the Somerdale school web site.
Dr. Dennis Vespe grew up locally and graduated from Sterling High School. Dr. Vespe pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Glassboro State College. He continued his education and earned two Master’s degrees from Rowan University, one in the teaching of Mathematics and the second in School Administration. He culminated his education with a Doctorate in School Administration from Widener University. Dr. Vespe has been in education for 23 years and has held several educational positions during his career, including math teacher, Vice Principal for Timber Creek High School, School Business Administrator for the Black Horse Pike Regional School District, Superintendent-Principal for the Gibbsboro School District, and Principal for Sterling High School.
Dr. Vespe has had many honors and awards for his personal academics, his teaching, and his coaching. What the members of the Somerdale community should know is Dr. Vespe will always try to encourage, support, and promote community and school spirit. No day will be complete without a “Happy Monday through Friday” and an energetic proclamation of “Go CAVS”.
The Board also approved the hiring of Thomas Coleman as Interim Assistant Superintendent of School effective August 21, 2017, through August 31, 2017; and as Interim Superintendent of Schools from September 1 through until the time that Vespe is able to start pending his 60 days notice to his current school district. According to McDonnell, Coleman will receive $650 for each day worked. He is a retired superintendent from the Woodstown school district.