By MADDY VITALE
With time running out, Ocean City school officials say that they are confident they will have a new interim schools superintendent in place by Jan. 1.
Retired longtime educator Dr. Scott McCartney, of Egg Harbor Township, has served as the interim superintendent since July, filling a gap until a full-time superintendent is in place.
McCartney, who receives a stipend of $700 per day, has only a short-term contract with the district, however. While interim superintendents can stay in a district for up to two years, he leaves at the end of December.
“We are in the process of finding an interim replacement so we can begin a new process-oriented search in the new year,” School Board President Chris Halliday said on Thursday.
While the district would have liked McCartney remaining in the post, Halliday said in a prior interview that McCartney has plans to travel and spend time with his family.
Over the last couple of years, the school district has conducted two superintendent searches.
In October, the district embarked on a third search. Since April, the board had reviewed 45 applications for the position. But while they narrowed the pool down in August, they did not select a new superintendent.
Halliday said at the time that the district is seeking the most-qualified candidates to choose from when deciding who will lead the school district.
There are three schools that make up the Ocean City school district, the primary, intermediate and high school. Currently, there are about 2,000 students enrolled.
In addition to Ocean City students, students from Sea Isle City, Upper Township, Longport and Corbin City attend the Ocean City school district as part of sending/receiving relationships with the school districts.
On Monday, School Business Administrator Tim Kelley said that the district is confident that an interim will be hired in the near future.
“Dr. McCartney will be with the district through the end of December,” Kelley explained in an email. “The Board is currently in the process of selecting a new Interim Superintendent of Schools to be in place effective January 1.”
The district has not had a long-term leader since former Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor retired in August 2021 after 15 years of service.
Interim Superintendent Tom Baruffi bridged the gap until the district hired Matthew Friedman as superintendent in June 2022 at a salary of $190,000.
Friedman resigned at the end of March to become superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa.
His resignation has forced the school board to conduct yet another search for a full-time superintendent to take charge of the Ocean City school district. But before a new full-time superintendent is hired, an interim superintendent will oversee the transition.
For more information about the Ocean City School District, visit oceancityschools.org.