The Atlantic City Board of Education

Both the Atlantic City and Pleasantville school boards approved full-time superintendents this summer after more than two years without permanent leaders.

Clarence Alston was hired as superintendent of the Pleasantville School District after a yearlong court battle over the denial of his 2016 appointment by the district’s state monitor.

Alston, who served as superintendent of the district from 2006-09, was approved for a three-year, 11-month contract at $167,500 for the first year, with 2.4 percent increases each year. The contract was approved in late June, but the district had to wait until Alston came out of retirement and stopped his pension payments in mid-July for him to enter his position.

In Atlantic City, Interim Superintendent Barry Caldwell was approved by the school board July 18 for a full-time position at a rate of $187,000 a year, plus $5,000 for a “high school stipend.” The contract is for 3.9 years.

Neither Alston nor Caldwell was available for comment last week.

Both school districts have gone for several years without permanent superintendents.

Caldwell is a former assistant superintendent of the Atlantic City School District. He took over as interim superintendent in April after previous Interim Superintendent Paul Spaventa’s two-year contract expired. State law does not allow an interim to serve more than two years in the same district.

In Pleasantville, Alston takes over for Interim Superintendent Dennis Anderson, a retired Wildwood and Wildwood Crest superintendent. Anderson was appointed in December by the state monitor, Constance Bauer, after Assistant Superintendent Garnell Bailey, who was acting superintendent, declined to accept the full-time position. Anderson remains employed by the school district during the transition as a consultant at a rate of $644 per day, according to school business administrator Elisha Thompkins.

Prior to Bailey, the Pleasantville School District had Interim Superintendent Leonard Fitts for two years. In the spring of 2016, the school board attempted to replace Fitts with Alston, who was approved by the board but not by the state monitor. Alston sued the district earlier this year and won.



Twitter @clairelowe

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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