Atlantic City high School

Atlantic City High School exterior, Thursday Feb. 27, 2014.

ATLANTIC CITY — Residents on Tuesday are expected to protest a vote by the local Board of Education that would swap the positions of two principals in the district.

If approved, Lina Gil would be moved to the Pennsylvania Avenue School and La'Quetta Small would be moved to Atlantic City High School. Superintendent Barry Caldwell confirmed the items were on the agenda but declined to comment further on the proposal.

In a letter to school board President Patricia Bailey last week, the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County questioned the reason for the move.

“Our community was delighted when Lina Gil was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Atlantic City High School in 2016, and she has worked hard since then to achieve good performance reviews, improve graduation rates and receive no disciplinary actions,” the letter reads. “So why is this transfer occurring? Our fear is that this seems to be politically motivated and an attempt to allow the wife of the Atlantic City Council President (Marty Small) to move up and become the new principal of Atlantic City High School.”

Gil and La'Quetta Small did not respond to email requests for comment.

Contacted by phone Monday, Marty Small said the Hispanic Association's comments "have absolutely no basis."

"My wife's credentials stand on their own," he said. "She's extremely qualified."

Marty Small said he would refer all other comments to the superintendent and school board.

In the letter, the Hispanic Association requested a meeting with the board prior to Tuesday. Advocacy chairman Cristian Moreno, of Atlantic City, said they have not received a response to the request.

In addition to Moreno, the letter was signed by Hispanic Association President Bert Lopez and Councilman and association First Vice President Moisse “Mo” Delgado, among the organization's other leaders.

Moreno said he expects a strong showing Tuesday night from “new minority” communities in Atlantic City, such as Latino, Southeast Asian and Asian residents.

“Enough is enough. This is why we have to get more involved civically. We need representation, we need fighters on the Board of Education and City Council who are fighting for our communities,” Moreno said.

Contact: 609-272-7251

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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