According to five sources, former New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet has inserted himself into the Asbury Park School Board selection process for a new superintendent. Repollet was appointed as Commissioner by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2017 when he was superintendent of Asbury Park Public Schools.
At the end of March NJ Education Report broke the news that current Asbury Park Superintendent Sancha Gray was resigning. In a follow-up article, School Board President Sheila Etienne said the Board, surprised by the news of Gray’s resignation, would hire an interim superintendent before implementing a “full search” for a permanent replacement: “It could take us up to a year…We want to get the right person,” Etienne said.
At that time, two in-district candidates, Asbury Park Athletic Director Mark Gerbino and Operations Director Roberta Beauford, were reportedly interested in the job. At the last School Board meeting on April 29th Beauford retired and her position was “abolished.” Gerbino is still eager for the slot.
Sources, who wish to remain anonymous, told NJ Education Report that Repollet, now President of Kean University, is lobbying for Board members to choose Rashawn M. Adams, currently Asbury Park’s Director of Planning, Research & Assessment. In particular, Repollet has made calls to three Board members — Barbara Lesinski, Angela Ahbez-Anderson, and Joe Gillo–to urge them to choose Adams. One source said, “Repollet is directing the negotiations” on Gray’s replacement. Another said, with the exception of new Board members like Etienne, “the Board remains loyal to Repollet.”
Another source referred to Adams as “Repollet’s guy.”
Why would Repollet feel compelled to control Asbury Park’s selection of its new superintendent?
This is a developing story. More to come. For important context, read this.