Friday, May 23, 2014

Absegami Principal and Union Await Investigative Report for Allegations Asserted by Teacher

Dr. Jeri-Lynn Gatto
On April 30, 2014 a complaint was filed against Absegami Principal, Dr. Jeri-Lynn Gatto. The complaint, which alleges harassment, intimidation and bullying was filed by an Absegami Teacher Sally Giannandrea. 

Giannandrea, who is a French teacher at Absegami High School alleged that an incident occurred on April 2, 2014 between her and Gatto and in the presence of another teacher. Giannandrea stated, "I am filing this claim as a member of a targeted group of individuals, those affected with cancer." Giannandrea explained in the complaint she has battled cancer for several years and had to recently take three months of medical leave due to her condition. 

Mark Glickstein who is the union representative and an Absegami teacher stated that the union is awaiting for the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District to issue its findings in a report due this week. The complaint was filed with John Ragan who is the affirmative action officer for the district. 

Glickstein explained Giannandrea has had no infractions or disciplinary actions filed against her in 10 years of working in the district. Yet according to Glickstein, Gatto, who has been the principal at the high school for seven years, has exhibited a “pattern of harassment, intimidation and bullying,” Glickstein said.
Glickstein stated he has appointed teachers and support staff to a committee to improve Absegami because of Gatto’s alleged discriminatory actions. Glickstein described what happened to Giannandrea was the “straw that broke the camel’s back".
“The Absegami staff is going to the next school board meeting on June 2nd because it is important that the board takes this very seriously,” Glickstein said. “They need to know we are not just complainers and whiners.”
“The committee is in place to investigate a pattern by Principal Gatto and we are compiling our findings,” Glickstein said. “Sally appreciates all of the support that she has received from the teachers, students, alumni, and the community,” Glickstein said.
Gatto did not return our request for comment.
Dr. Steven Ciccariello, Superintendent of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District stated, "The matter you address in your questions is a personnel matter and I am not permitted by law to discuss it with you."

"I can advise you that the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District has strict policies, required by state law, to address harassment complaints initiated by students and employees.  These policies are strictly followed and enforced" Dr. Ciccariello further stated.
Dr. Gatto who has been with the school district since 2007 earns a salary of $131,433, and also holds several degrees including a degree in psychology from Richard Stockton State College in 1985.  


Anonymous said...

When I went to Absegami....the best principle I had ever had attending any school was Mrs. Basner!.

Unknown said...

I agree!!! Ms. Basner was a good soul!

Anonymous said...

Gatto needs to leave. She has no respect for the students or staff.

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