By Raquel Sosa-Sanchez
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy named Lamont Repollet as New Jersey’s commissioner of education on Jan. 12. Repollet is an alumnus of the College and is currently the superintendent for the Asbury Park School District in Monmouth County.
Repollet (’94) graduated with a degree in communication studies from the School of Arts and Communication, according to the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Repollet mentioned advancement toward government-funded preschool, improvement on vocational programs and the replacement of New Jersey’s Standardized PARCC exams instated under former Governor Christie as a few of his goals as commissioner of education, during a news conference.
Repollet’s experience in New Jersey’s education system is extensive. He began his career as a middle school teacher in his hometown of Carteret. After years of teaching, Repollet became a high school principal, a position he held for nine years.
Repollet’s work began attracting attention when he left Carteret to become superintendent of Asbury Park Schools, where graduation rates were 49 percent, more than 40 percent below the state’s 90 percent average. As of 2017, the graduation rate of Asbury Park Schools has risen to 73 percent, according to New Jersey’s Department of Education Data and Reports website.
New Jersey’s education system remains among the best in the nation, almost always outperforming the national averages of Assessments of Educational Progress, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Repollet is determined further improve the quality of education in New Jersey.
“We will be guided by three essential questions,” Repollet said during the news conference. “How do our decisions impact students? Does our action bring honor and distinction to this state and this nation? Are our policies and mandates economically feasible to the state and our districts?”
Repollet’s strategy for improving New Jersey’s education system not only revolves around its impact on students, but also on the fiscal responsibility of the department.
In a 2015 interview with NJASCU, Repollet remembered his alma mater with fondness.
“I am so honored and lucky to have been enrolled at such a quality undergraduate school like The College of New Jersey,” Repollet said. “TCNJ really steered me on the right course.”