Will Atlantic City Councilman, Marty Small’s wife, LaQuetta Small, principal of Pennsylvania Ave School, soon become principal of AC High School?
This letter was sent to Vice President Constance Days-Chapman of the Atlantic City Board of Education, by Bert Lopez of the Hispanic Assoc of Atlantic County:
We hope this letter finds you well, as we are writing to formally introduce our Organization to you and civically address a concern that has arisen in our Beloved Community.
We are the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County, a new nonprofit community organization dedicated to empowering, advocating, and advancing the Hispanic community in the Atlantic County region, while preserving our beautiful cultural heritage.
We write to you in regard to one of the most impactful and important members of our Beloved Community, Atlantic City High School Principal Lina Gil.
Principal Lina Gil is a well-qualified, effective High School Principal who has dedicated the last twenty years to the youth of Atlantic City.
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.
However it has come to our attention that the Superintendent of Atlantic City Schools, Barry Caldwell, has notified Principal Lina Gil that she will be transferred away from Atlantic City High School to Pennsylvania Avenue School, with no specific reason justifying the transfer.
It is also our understanding that Superintendent Caldwell has made it clear that in her place, Dr. La’Quetta Small will be taking over as Principal of Atlantic City High School.
At this moment in time, our community seeks more information and transparency on the motives and justification behind the transfer from Superintendent Caldwell and the Atlantic City Board of Education.
Unfortunately, from our communities’ perspective, it seems like Superintendent Caldwell and the Atlantic City Board of Education are attempting to transfer and demote a well-qualified, effective High School Principal with little to no reasons that will hold weight under community scrutiny.
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 to move up and become the new Principal of Atlantic City High School.
Due to the foregoing reasons, The Hispanic Association of Atlantic County respectfully requests a response to the following questions:
1. What is the official reason or justification provided to the Board of Education by the Superintendent for transferring Principal Lina Gil away from Atlantic City High School?
Additionally, many members from the community wish to be a part of the civic process and express their concerns at the next Board of Education meeting on May 21st.
We want to ensure that there are no obstacles for all members of the community that wish to express their opinion during the Public Comment Portion.
2. If there are any possible barriers and hindrances that may prevent members of our community from attending and voicing their concerns at the May 21st Board of Education meeting being held at 1300 Atlantic Avenue, such as limited room capacity, would you respectfully consider moving the meeting to a larger and more centrally located school such as Sovereign Avenue, Richmond Avenue, or Texas Avenue School?
As a result of this current issue heaving impacting our community, we urgently request a meeting with you in order to have an open and civic dialogue and get your perspective on this matter before the May 21st Board of Education Meeting.
We will make ourselves available to you, anytime of the day, any day of the week as this matter is extremely important and time sensitive.
Please let us know at your earliest convenience when would be an optimal time to meet.
We thank you in advance for your attention on this matter.
Bert Lopez of the Hispanic Assoc of Atlantic County