Ventnor OK’s Pay Raise for Controversial Atlantic City School Boss

Ventnor Michael Cupeles School Board
Ventnor’s Michael Cupeles

On June 30, Ventnor voted YES and gave controversial Atlantic City school superintendent, Barry Caldwell, a new contract worth over $220,000 per year.

Michael Cupeles is Ventnor’s new representative on the Atlantic City School Board. This seat comes with voting rights.

Cupeles voted YES to the Atlantic City School Superintendent’s 12% raise. Other employees only get 2% annual raises.

Watch video.


Appointing Ventnor rep for AC Board of Education position is responsibility of Ventnor Mayor, Beth Holtzman.

Ventnor sends 191 students to Atlantic City High School at a cost of $18,000 per pupil. That’s almost $4 million per year that Ventnor sends to the poorly rated, Atlantic City High School.

Less than 25% of AC High School students are proficient in basic math & grammar.

Ventnor’s Deal with Atlantic City High School:

Ventnor Sends 191 Students to AC High.

AC School Superintendent Barry Caldwell is currently a defendant in a student sex abuse lawsuit that also involves the Atlantic City Mayor and his wife, the Principal of Atlantic City High School.

Atlantic City Schools: High Cost of Low Grades.

Public Comment: Atlantic City School District is run by embattled superintendent, Barry Caldwell. He’s not well-liked, but Caldwell seems to be well-protected by those in Trenton.

Barry Caldwell’s Report Card:

  • 20% of students never graduate.
  • Less than 25% have basic math & writing skills
  • 40% student chronic absentee rate.
  • Un-resolved school security issues.
  • Poor vetting of personnel.
  • No middle-school athletics.
  • No vo-tech training.
  • Student sex-abuse scandal.

Parents question credentials of Barry Caldwell: He was never a teacher. He’s not qualified to run a school district. No experience in education or teaching.


Emmett Fitz-Hume – Caldwell; pure entitlement and arrogance. Backdooring himself a 12% raise for his pension.

Brian Wastell – People of AC should be ashamed and embarrassed. They’re ok with it.

Tom Forkin : Caldwell is NOT a certified teacher. Never taught a child. Unqualified.

Ventnor school tax rate: Homeowners pay $1,251 for every $150,000 of assessed valuation.

Ventnor School District currently has 632 students.

Ventnor School District sends 191 students to Atlantic City High School.



Ventnor-School-Budget-2021

5 thoughts on “Ventnor OK’s Pay Raise for Controversial Atlantic City School Boss”

  1. Barry Caldwell went from a custodian to a Superintendent. I blame Beth Holtzman for not taking this seriously.

  2. I listened to Mayor Holztman’s comments and very serious concerns about a proposed one million dollar increase in costs to the Ventnor’s tax payers for students that attend Atlantic City High School.

    In 2021 it will cost a little over $18,000 per student per year or almost $80,000 for 4 years. That brings me to a very important issue about increasing density in Ventnor.

    Many years ago, Ventnor spent thousands of dollars in fees for planners and engineers to create a new master plan. At that time, NORTH BEACH was zoned for single family residences only.

    Yes, of course there are many duplexes here, but that was the main reason we were rezoned that way. To keep density down.

    The master plan was reviewed a few years back by the current administration. They left the zoning the way it was, yet about 2 years ago, two investors bought a single family home at 14 South Hillside Ave in the NORTH BEACH section of Ventnor. They applied to the Planning Board for a variance to allow it to be converted to a duplex.

    At that meeting there were approximately 15 local residents that opposed that variance. Only the developer was in favor of it, yet it was approved. REALLY?

    Keep in mind, the developer signed a contract to purchase property with no zoning contingencies. If the Board did not approve a duplex, they were prepared to build a single family home.

    But it was approved and they built a two unit and sold two. If there were 2 children in that extra unit, then the extra cost for AC High School would be approximately $160,000 to the Ventnor taxpayers.

    Of course I have always heard you don’t have to worry about the additional cost for school age children because everybody that is buying in Ventnor is buying a secondary residence.

    Well that thought is pretty much dead in the water.

    Statistics now show that many people are escaping the big cities because they have now discovered that they can work from their home and they are now buying seashore homes as their permanent residences.

    PLEASE, I am only asking that we encourage our Planning Board to respect the current master plan. Keep that in mind because no doubt, it will be on the table many times to come in the future, since a precedent has been set.

    Richard Gober

  3. Cupeles is an IDIOT and should be replaced. Most companies have not given a pay raise during COVID. He votes for a 12% raise. This guy has no scruples n should be reprimanded for his vote. He is the definition of an IDIOT!!!

    1. The 12% pay raise is no doubt excessive and well outside the norms. But your other comment is just straight up wrong. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 68% of companies gave pay raises during COVID, and 79% gave bonuses. So your claim of ‘most’ having not given raises is just bogus.

  4. Is it any wonder NJ State is running AC? Not only corruption, but totally disorganized government run by nepotistic fools who can’t walk and chew gum.

    This salary is an insult to every citizen being taxed to pay for it and every student who’s being underserved with this idiot in charge.

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