By DON STINE
The guest speaker at a special prayer breakfast, hosted by the Men’s Ministry of the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, was a no-show Sat., Jan. 20- but through no fault of his own.
Asbury Park School Superintendent Lamont Repollet was recently nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy to be his new Commissioner of Education- the first African-American to hold the post- but, unfortunately, Repollet is unable to have any speaking engagements until his nomination is approved by the state Senate.
Repollet, 47, became schools superintendent in 2014 and his appearance at the prayer breakfast was scheduled months ago. However, Kristie M. Howard, Director of Student Services for the school district, filled in for him.
Howard praised Repollet for his innovative educational measures and surpassing the in-house educational benchmarks set in place and creating programs that better address the needs of students.
She spoke about social and emotional learning- a process which helps children cultivate essential life skills, including awareness of one’s own emotions, fostering respect and caring for others, establishing strong relationships, making ethical and responsible decisions, and handling adversity constructively.
Howard said such programs create more responsive classrooms “where teachers set the tone with students for the day.”
“A teacher will guide students through the morning and set the tone for how the day will go. When you have anxiety, you can’t learn. Teaching is not an art, it is also a science,” she said.
moving them into a learning environment instead of punishing them.
“You can give community service in lieu of suspension,” she said.
Other people at the breakfast, more than 50 attended, praised Repollet for being “innovative” and “cutting edge” in his approach to education.