HomeVoorhees NewsVoorhees school board removes Superintendent David Gentile from position

Voorhees school board removes Superintendent David Gentile from position

Gentile will be replaced by Redfearn, who will be acting head

After an executive session during its May 5 meeting, the Voorhees Township board of education unanimously decided not to renew Superintendent Dr. David Gentile’s contract, which ends on June 30, 2022, and removed him from his position.

The board chose Mike Redfearn as the acting superintendent, effective May 6. Gentile had been superintendent of Voorhees schools since July 2019, after leaving his position as superintendent of Millville Public Schools. Redfearn was previously a teacher at Kresson Elementary and the Voorhees Township Education Association vice president. He served as coordinator of community education and recreation before his new appointment.

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Because the move was discussed during an executive session, board President Monica Watson said she was unable to comment further on the reasons behind Gentile’s removal.

“At the end of the day, we are tasked with doing what is in the best interests of the district and for the children that we serve in this community,” the board wrote in a memo emailed to the public.

During the May 5 meeting, the board also reviewed and held its public hearing on the 2021-2022 budget. Business Administrator Helen Haley led a presentation on the fiscal plan,  announcing that the local tax levy for 2021-2022 increased by 1.97 percent. That amounts to 78 percent of district revenue. Residents should expect to see a tax increase of around $93.62 a year.

Haley also noted that the net valuation taxable has decreased by $12.4 million, meaning the value of properties in Voorhees has gone down by 0.39 percent.

“Low growth and accelerated shrinkage is causing the decrease in the ratables,” she   explained. “Because of that, it makes the tax effect 2.4 percent, because the ratables have decreased. So the money being spread amongst is a little bit higher.”

The board expects a decrease in state aid this year of $316,573, leaving total state dollars at nearly $5 million. The aid makes up 12.6 percent of district  revenue. According to Haley, there will be an overall reduction of around $1.8 million over seven years.

“This is our peak year. The next three years, it’ll go down from there,” she noted.

Haley attributed some of the larger district expenses to the kindergarten addition at Kresson Elementary ($4.4 million); new staff (11 teachers and one custodian, $590,000); and the increase in Capital Outlay Construction, which budgets for possible building ($1.25 million).

“A lot of this is funded by our capital reserves and our surplus from fiscal year ‘19 to ‘20,” Haley explained. “ … The capital reserve that we’re using is about $3 million.”

Other capital projects that will take place this year include renovations to a media center,  replacement of fire-alarm systems, various HVAC units, exterior double doors, and lockers.

The next board of education meeting will be held Monday, June 14, at Osage Elementary School. The session will have both in person and remote access and will be the last for the current school year.

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