On Target June 2017
2 Community Corner June 2017
  • Great Schools. Great Futures.


    Why do people come to Cape May County? The beaches, restaurants, bird watching, boardwalks, bicycling, and destination weddings? Let’s add another reason: the outstanding schools with unique educational programs.  

    CMC  Nestled southbound between Exit 30 and Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway are 16 school districts: Ocean City, Upper Township, Woodbine, Dennis Township, Avalon, Cape May County Special Services, Cape May County Technical High School, Middle Township, Stone Harbor, North Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Lower Township, Lower Cape May Regional, West Cape May, and Cape May City. The superintendents want people to know that their schools are the reasons to move to Cape May County (CMC), not just to vacation there.  

    Seven of the superintendents and the Atlantic-Cape Community College formed the 3C Committee — Community, Collaboration and Communication. Their mission is to promote the preschool to college opportunities in the County. They believe knowledge of their high-performing schools will attract and keep families in their towns. They also want to give a “face” to the County superintendents. 

    The superintendents of the 3C Committee placed “Community” first in the name of their group. Cape May County is designated as a United States Coast Guard Community. This is an honor for all of our municipalities. The USCG Training Center (TraCen) is the 5th largest base and the sole training center for the entire enlisted force. Cape May TraCen is considered the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, and Cape May County is fondly referred to as the “Coast Guard’s Hometown.” The Coast Guard members and recruits participate in school security and reunification drills in addition to helping students in the elementary After-School Clubs. 

    “We chose 'Collaboration' as our second 'C' because the CMC superintendents have bonded more closely in the last few years,” said Technical High School Superintendent Dr. Nancy Hudanich. “We want our voices to be heard at the state level." Initiated by Wildwood Superintendent Kenyon Kummings, all 16 superintendents signed a resolution outlining their stance on how PARCC has not championed the educational success of students and schools. Dr. Hudanich also stated that the 3C Committee will be spreading the good news about the Cape May County Schools to the Chambers of Commerce, the Realtors Association, the Freeholders, and the League of Municipalities just to name a few. We will put brochures into the hands of realtors. Families choose to live in communities with high-ranking schools.

    Last, but not least, the third “C” stands for “Communication.” The Committee formed the Cape May County Administrators Association Facebook Page. “As superintendents, we often get blamed but rarely get credit,” said Special Services Superintendent Barbara Makoski. “We want to make it easy for our current and potential residents to see all the fantastic things we do.”  Managed by Lower Twp. Superintendent Jeff Samaniego, the Facebook page contains news, compelling images, and links to all 16 districts and the community college on one page without logging onto individual school websites.  “Even locals don’t know the parameters of our schools,” said Dr. Fred Savio, West Cape May Superintendent. West Cape May, Cape May City, and Lower Township are three separate Preschool-6th grade districts that feed into Lower Cape May Regional for grades 7-12. Wildwood Crest, Wildwood and North Wildwood may be on the same island, but are also three distinct districts.  

    To support communication, the 3C Committee also designed its own logo. “With the slogan 'Great Schools. Great Futures', it communicates who we are in four simple words,” said Avalon-Stone Harbor Superintendent Stacey Tracey. The slogan and logo can be found on their stationary, the Facebook page, award plaques and certificates. 

    Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Ocean City Superintendent, CM County Superintendent of the Year and Past President of the CM County Administrators Association (CMCAA) wants visitors and residents alike to know how the schools are preparing the students to be industrious contributors to the 21st Century. “From STEM programs starting in preschool to Math Boot Camps at Atlantic-Cape Community College, no stone is left unturned.”  She adds with a sparkle in her eye, “Where else is bicycling on the boardwalk part of the physical education program?” Of course, she also wants you to know that the Ocean City teachers have received honors such as NJ State Teacher of the Year, Teacher as Hero Award, International Society of Technology Education, and Princeton University’s “Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award.”

    What do Cape May County superintendents want you to know about their schools? First of all, knowing where they are on the Garden State Parkway might help. So here they are, driving southbound, starting with Exit 30 and ending with Exit 0:


    CMC 2 Exit 30Ocean City, Dr. Kathleen Taylor: Nationally-ranked high school, rigorous academic program, virtual course offerings for intermediate & high school; winning South Jersey & NJ State Championship sports’ teams.

    Exit 25Upper Township, Vincent Palmieri: NJ High Performing District; full day preschool

    Exit 17Woodbine, Anthony DeVico: The only free full-day NJ Pre-K Our Way in the State for 3- and 4-year-old children

    Exit 13Dennis Township, Mark Miller: Progressive, innovative technology programs to support classroom instruction and successful STEAM curriculum projects

    Exit 13Avalon, Stacey Tracy: Private school education in a public school setting

    Exit 11CM County Special Services, Barbara Makoski: Two schools for students ages 3-21 with special needs: Ocean Academy & CM Co. High School. Calming rooms, sensory garden for Autistic students; heated therapy pool with adjustable floor where many students have learned to walk!

    Exit 11 - County Technical High School, Dr. Nancy Hudanich: Programs from preschool to Post-secondary job training for licensure and apprentice programs; Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school classes where students prepare for career pathways in a select field  

    Exit 10 - Atlantic-Cape Community College, Dean Donna Vassallo: 47 academic degrees offered and career training programs offered through the Workforce Development Center

    Exit 10 - Middle Township, Dr. David Salvo: Community Based Instructional Program

    Exit 10 - Stone Harbor, Stacey Tracy: Partnership with The Wetlands Institute

    Exit 6 - N. Wildwood, Christopher Armstrong: Engaged community — Intergenerational events; 1:1 technology devices

    Exit 4 - Wildwood, Kenyon Kummings: Structured Learning Experiences with community businesses to ensure career and college readiness

    Exit 4 - Wildwood Crest, David De Conte, Jr.: Project and inquiry-based learning programs

    Exit 0 - Lower Township, Jeff Samaniego:  3VP Preschool Program for 3-year olds; rigorous STEM curriculum

    Exit 0 - Lower CM Regional, Christopher Kobik: 13 AP Courses, 16 college credit courses, and a comprehensive Engineering Program, student-run florist, greenhouse, bagel shop, and culinary café and Performing Arts Center

    Exit 0 - West Cape May, Dr. Fred Savio:  NJ Sustainable Schools Award; School Greenhouse; strong family involvement

    Exit 0 - Cape May City, Victoria Zelenak:  NJ State BOE Award for their Green Dot Anti-Bullying Program; brand new indoor heated swimming pool for school and community


    Are you planning to vacation in Cape May County this summer or fall?  Put visiting our schools on your To Do List. We’d love to give you the VIP tours. If you have any questions about promoting your county school districts, please contact Dr. Kathleen Taylor: ktaylor@ocsdnj.org or Victoria Zelenak: vzelenak@cmcboe.org


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