Mantua Township School District prepares for 2022

Former superintendent reflects and discusses the year ahead

Centre City, J. Mason Tomlin and Sewell schools will continue to combat the effects of COVID on students, faculty and buildings.

The Mantua Township School District is ready to take on 2022.

Former Superintendent Robert Miles reflected on progress and upcoming projects before he stepped down from his position. Christine Trampe, who was an assistant principal for the Gloucester City School District and most recently principal at West Deptford Middle School, has taken in Miles’ role since Jan. 1.

A noteworthy pursuit being revisited by the board of education is a possible bond referendum originally brought to the board’s attention in January 2020, before the pandemic. That and expansion of the district’s social emotional learning (SEL) program are priorities.

“Right now, we have a great program that’s K-6 that was previously only at J. Mason Tomlin and Sewell, and so we expanded that at Centre City,” Miles said. “That’s been going great, and we really try to emphasize character education and put resources there, which is something that we’re really proud of and is very important for our kids.”

With COVID restrictions finally lifted in schools, the Mantua district plans to host its first Big Night Out since spring 2019. Locations for the June event are to be determined, but options include the area behind Tomlin or Chestnut Branch Park.

“It brings the community together as a way to celebrate our character education program and to celebrate our community and the students,” Miles noted.

In the past few months, the district has received funds from Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief. The fund, awarded by the state Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, helped Tomlin, Centre City and Sewell schools reopen and combat the effects of COVID on students, faculty and buildings.

Miles promised that the relief money would be put to good use to create an improved atmosphere across the schools.

“We’re planning to put that to use with improvements in HVAC, improvements in technology and also in teaching and coaching positions,” he explained.

While Miles left the position on Dec. 31 to “take a step back while his kids are still young,” he is grateful for the successes in which he was able to take part.

“It’s been a great blessing for me to be able to be the principal of JMT (Tomlin) for five years and the superintendent for the past two years, and I really am grateful for the community of Mantua and really just cherish the ability to make an impact in kids’ lives,” Miles said.

“I’m certainly going to miss the community.”