Absegami Principal Daniel Kern

Daniel Kern, the newly appointed principal of Absegami High School, center, with Jeri-Lynn Vernon, current principal of Absegami, left, and Kern’s wife, Kelli, during the school board meeting at which Kern was appointed Monday.

EGG HARBOR CITY — Absegami High School will have a new principal for the first time in 12 years as the board appointed a replacement for retiring school leader Jeri-Lynn Vernon.

Daniel Kern, guidance supervisor at Absegami, was approved unanimously by the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District school board Monday as principal beginning July 1.

“He’s a master counselor and has a great understanding of the troubles facing youth today, and a clear vision of where the school should be headed. He really is dedicated to community connections,” said Superintendent John Keenan.

Absegami, located in Galloway Township, is the biggest of the three high schools operated by the Greater Egg Harbor district and serves more than 1,100 students from the township. Other district high schools are Oakcrest in Mays Landing and Cedar Creek in Egg Harbor City.

Vernon will retire at the end of the school year after spending her 33-year teaching career at Greater Egg, starting as a social studies teacher at Oakcrest in 1986. She said she is looking forward to spending quality time with her family and friends, especially her husband, children and grandchildren.

“I have loved my career in education and will miss spending my time with high school students and educators. There is no group of people I enjoy more than teenagers, and leaving them will be the most difficult,” Vernon said. “I am so excited for Absegami as Dan Kern takes over as principal. We have worked together for five years, and not only is he a consummate professional, he will lead with great integrity and dignity. I couldn’t be happier for both him and for the school community.”

Keenan said Vernon was a “consummate professional dedicated to the students and parents” and provided consistent leadership and vision for more than a decade.

According to Keenan, the principal search was extensive and included background research, interviews, reference checks and meeting with multiple committees and students. He said they interviewed 12 candidates since the job was posted in December. Kern’s salary will begin at $122,412, per the negotiated contract with the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School Principals Association.

Kern said Tuesday he is extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity.

“I’ve been excited about the positive direction and positive school culture we’re building here at Absegami and wanted to continue to build upon the programs that we’ve been working on as a district,” he said.

Kern has been with the district for eight years and Northfield Community School for seven years prior. He lives in Northfield with his wife, Kelli, and their two sons, Chase and Caden.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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