Michael Pastorello, who calls himself an executive chef and works at a Camden, New Jersey charter school, must make one helluva sloppy joe.
How else to explain the fact that Pastorello — the live-in boyfriend of the school’s founder — makes recently got a $24,000 raise and now makes $95,000 a year to serve meals to approximately 1,000 students?
The Camden LEAP Academy University Charter School now pays Pastorello more than twice the average take-home pay of people in the area who do the same basic job. His responsibilities include creating menus, preparing food and, presumably, supervising school lunch ladies.
Now the school’s trustees are asking questions about how Pastorello ended up with a $24,000 raise last year, reports Philly.com.
A spokesman for the school, Adam Dvorin, explained that Pastorello and Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, who founded the charter school, are in a “committed relationship,” Phillyburbs.com reports.
The school changed food contract vendors this year. The new company, Metz Culinary Management, was required to retain Pastorello and pay him and extra $24,000. The company also had to keep two other hourly workers who make substantially less than he does and who received comparatively paltry raises.
In a separate editorial, Philly.com calls Camden “probably the poorest city in New Jersey” and suggests that Pastorello appears to be serving up standard school-lunch fare, not gourmet delicacies. The website notes that the menus at the charter school contain a lot of the same things you are likely to see at any other school: grilled-cheese sandwiches, applesauce, etc.
The food service supervisor for the nearby, relatively well-heeled Cherry Hill school district brings home $50,000 to oversee the lunches of some 13,000 students, adds Philly.com.