Little Egg Harbor School Board Approves New Contract for Superintendent

Aug 02, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson LEH School District Board of Education with Superintendent Melissa McCooley (center). From left, Business Administrator Nicholas Brown, Robert Moncrief, Donald Gross, James Becker, President Gina Frasca, Superintendent Melissa McCooley, Matthew Maleski and Martha Jane Palen.

The Little Egg Harbor Board of Education approved a new five-year contract for Superintendent Melissa McCooley during a special meeting held July 31. Her new salary is $169,689 a year with a 2 percent increase each year.

McCooley was hired in May 2015 at $135,000 with a contract due to expire in June, 2018. The new contract was still pending Ocean County’s Department of Education approval as of Monday night.

McCooley explained that in March, the governor’s 2 percent cap on salaries was lifted, allowing for the increase.

Board member Matthew Maleski said he was glad that the school district was able to keep McCooley. The appointment was unanimous. Board Vice President August Daleo was absent.

The school district received news two weeks ago that its state funding was cut $193,807. To compensate, the board decided not to fill a special education teaching position. The retiring teacher’s salary was $71,000, at the top of the scale, said new Business Administrator Nicholas Brown. The board also took the $40,000 set aside for Chrome Books out of this year’s budget because it was covered under a previous budget, said Brown.

The rest of the money was found by cutting from various line items.

Frog Pond School Principal Troy Henderson’s salary was also increased from $115,246 to $118,358 retroactive to July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

An addendum to the agenda eliminated the position of director of academic achievement and technology that was approved at the July 17 board meeting; Jackie Chezalino is instead director of elementary resources.

And the board created a new job description of director of curriculum and instruction and will post this position for hire.

The board rescinded two special education appointments made during its June meeting but actually rehired them in different positions that evening. Ariel MacIntyre will replace Ann Marie O’Keefe, who is retiring. Melissa Moscato replaces Lindsay Critelli, who is out on childcare leave. Both teachers will receive salaries at $56,784.

The board accepted the resignation of music teacher Abbie Aristizabal of George J. Mitchell School effective Sept. 25.

No members of the public attended the special meeting held at 4 p.m. in the board office.

After the meeting, Board President Gina Frasca said she would not run for re-election to the board in November. Frasca has been on the board since 2005.

The next board meeting is Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Frog Pond Elementary School.

— Pat Johnson



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