Neptune City Education Association Plans Meeting to Discuss Concerns

The Neptune City Board of Education is scheduled to meet Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. A replacement could be approved for a vacant board seat.

By PETE WALTON

The Neptune City Education Association is organizing a community meeting next month to discuss ongoing concerns about the local school district and Woodrow Wilson School.

No date has been set for the meeting, which the association says will bring together parents of present and former students, current and former teachers in the district, members of the borough’s governing body and other concerned citizens.

Association members joined parents and taxpayers in opposing the recent award of a new five-year contract to Chief School Administrator Debra Mercora.

The Neptune City Board of Education voted last month to tear up its existing contract with Mercora and give her the new deal.

Opponents asked the board to delay action until a new board president and two new members took office.

At its regular meeting Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. the board could act on a replacement for Michelle Lewis, who was elected last month to the Neptune City Borough Council. The deadline for letters of interest in the position was yesterday afternoon.

The term will run through the end of 2019. The seat will be on the ballot in the November 2019 general election.

The vote to give Mercora a new contract was 6-0, with board members Antonio Lopez and Bruce Wescott abstaining. The two men tried unsuccessfully to delay consideration of the new deal for Mercora.

Lopez and Christina Mordaunt were reelected to the board Nov. 6 along with Michele McGuigan, who will join the board in January.

Despite denials from Mercora and outgoing board president Christine Oppegaard, rumors persist that the district’s only school could close.

Enrollment has been declining over time at Woodrow Wilson, the borough’s only school. During the public comment portion of the November board meeting, several residents discussed the possibility of combining Woodrow Wilson with the Bradley Beach Elementary School.

A Bradley Beach resident told The Coaster that several Neptune City students already attend the Bradley Beach school on a tuition basis.

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