HomeNews TranscriptNews Transcript NewsDr. Nicole Santora named Manalapan-Englishtown school superintendent

Dr. Nicole Santora named Manalapan-Englishtown school superintendent

Nicole Santora, who joined the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District in 2016 as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources, has been named the district’s new superintendent.

Santora will succeed John J. Marciante Jr. when he retires as the superintendent of schools on June 30.

Santora told the News Transcript, “It has been a privilege to serve the Manalapan-Englishtown community for the last five years as assistant superintendent and I am extremely honored the Board of Education selected me to be the next superintendent of schools. I am looking forward to continuing to provide our students with the highest level of education in a safe, supportive environment.”

In a letter she sent to the community, Santora wrote, in part, “As superintendent, I will work with stakeholders to ensure the district continues to reach and exceed high levels of education and academic achievement; provide students with a safe, technologically-advanced learning environment; and provide a positive and healthy work and learning environment for both staff and students.”

Board of Education President Dotty Porcaro said Santora’s hiring as superintendent was made official on April 20.

In a statement, Porcaro said, “Dr. Santora came to us from the Freehold Regional High School District in July 2016. During this time, she has worked tirelessly with teachers and the administration toward closing the achievement gap.

“She has been responsible for the district-wide implementation of our Response to Intervention program and in choosing the most effective administration and staff to lead the schools with this program.

“Dr. Santora has shown strong leadership skills in strategic planning and goal-setting. She
facilitated the 2020 Quality Single Accountability Continuum review. She has taken a huge leadership role during the pandemic, working closely with Dr. Marciante and the district administration to ensure safety and the continuity of instruction.

“Working together, they created a COVID health related closure plan and a district COVID reopening and instructional plan which included the creation of the Virtual Academy for all students who would be learning from their homes.

“She has communicated on a continual basis with the staff, school parents and the community throughout the pandemic. She regularly has solved problems with the help of administration and union leadership on a variety of issues, including instructional, contractual and safety,” Porcaro said.

“Dr. Santora has brought the Genesis HR system to the district and has created and managed the district’s Facebook page which provides updates on school happenings.

“She has facilitated our yearly kindergarten registration and presented at various state and national conferences … She has also acclimated herself with the transportation and physical plant areas,” the board president said.

Porcaro said that in mid-November, a six-member board committee conducted a superintendent search with the assistance of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Six individuals were interviewed in December. The field was narrowed to three candidates who each had a second interview in January.

“The committee then discussed (the candidates) and agreed Dr. Santora was the best
candidate for the position. We negotiated with her and put together a contract which has been approved by the Executive County Superintendent.

” … The board is looking forward to continuing our good working relationship with Dr. Santora and is very excited to see what she will bring to her new job as superintendent,” Porcaro said.

Santora’s first contract as Manalapan-Englishtown’s superintendent of schools will run from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024. The initial salary is $185,000, with a 2% increase each subsequent year, according to a copy of the contract that has been posted on the school district’s website.

The superintendent will be eligible to receive merit increases based upon achieving certain criteria, according to the contract.

District administrators also announced the following personnel changes:

• Jodi Pepchinski, who is currently the principal at the Milford Brook School, has been hired as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources to succeed Santora, effective July 1;

• Melissa Tice, who is currently the assistant principal at the John I. Dawes Early Learning Center, has been hired as the principal at the Milford Brook School to succeed Pepchinski, effective July 1.

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