School board honors retiring member

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PETERSBURG – Next month, at the annual reorganization meeting for the Upper Township Board of Education, board member Dr. Christine Lentz will not be seated for the first time since Oct., 2008.


Lentz, the board’s current vice president, opted not to run for re-election in November. At a Monday, Dec. 17 board meeting, her colleagues honored her service. 

“She came to the board with a unique perspective,” said Superintendent Vincent Palmieri, adding that she was a member of the community and a former teacher and current administrator in the Ocean City school district.

Lentz, he said, was able to see issues from all sides. 

Palmieri said her “willingness to bring all stakeholders together” would be greatly missed. 

“I want to thank you personally,” he said. 

Lentz was unanimously appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of former board member Charlene Zoerb after she resigned in Sept., 2008 to take a job with the New Jersey Department of Education. She ran for a full three-year term the following year.

Lentz taught biology and coached basketball at Ocean City High School before being named as a hybrid athletic director/assistant principal at OCHS.

Following a discussion about the tragic shootings of school children in Newtown, Conn., school board president Michele Barbieri had tears in her eyes as she talked about Lentz. 

“She would go to the last mile to protect your kids,” said Barbieri. As a teacher and administrator, Lentz would be the one to lift a child up and heap on praise when they did something right, she said.

Lentz would also “grab them and tell them to get their butt in class” if they did something wrong, said Barbieri.

Lentz was one of “those unique people who come into your life,” she said.

“She is by far one of the best educators I have ever met and she’s been a great board member,” said Lentz. The two butted heads more than once, she acknowledged with a smile. 

“When you talk about someone who loves public education,” Lentz is at the top of the list, said Barbieri.

Other board members reflected on Lentz’s service and said she would be sadly missed.


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