In the 18-months that Dr. Lamont Repollet has been Superintendent of Schools in Asbury Park, he has overseen the move to a new Administrative Office, launched a series of academic initiatives, created an Early College Academy and designed a new logo for the district, all aimed at changing the long-held perception of a failed system.
On May 13, the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce will present Repollet with the 2016 Public Official Carousel Award, one of five awards to be handed out at a gala dinner at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Repollet came to Asbury Park in October of 2014 from Carteret where had been the high school principal and brought with him a hard hat which quickly became the symbol of his administration.
Repollet says “Hard Hat Nation” is a symbol for people dedicated to creating a brighter future and he is the Chief Architect of the project. He also now has a hard hat pin that’s given to people as a reward for their work carrying out the mission which he explains is to “rebuild and retool” the schools. He runs a district with an enrollment of two-thousand in the pre-school, elementary, middle school and high school.
Shortly after arriving in Asbury Park, Repollet and the administrative staff moved into spacious new offices on Fourth Avenue. He brought Sancha Gray from Carteret as Director of Curriculum for the district and set about turning the schools into a model system.
“Years of failure, perpetual low esteem and student achievement all created a fixed mind set about the schools,” Repollet said.
But with the city rejuvenating, he wants the school district to match that. He’s created a College and Career Readiness Institute and starting in the 2016-2017 school year, a Dream Early College Academy. The Academy is a partnership with Brookdale Community College which will allow 15 APHS 9th grade students to earn college credits and an Associate of Arts degree while also receiving their high school diploma. Dr. Repollet believes people are already seeing action but acknowledges it will take five years for the district to become respectable.
In addition to his role as superintendent, Repollet is also a Board Member of Kean University and Trustee of the Far Hills Country Day School in Morris County.
The Carousel Awards dinner this year has a Roaring 20’s theme, “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love.” Chamber Executive Director, Jacqueline Pappas reflected that the spirit of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ was marked by the feeling that anything was possible and that there was “nothing but blue skies from now on” as the song goes. The 2016 Carousel honorees exemplify the dedication, loyalty and vision that it takes to build a better future in Asbury Park and to have fun doing it.”
Tickets for the May 13 affair are $150 to benefit the Chamber and are on sale from the Chamber at 732-775-7676 or firstname.lastname@example.org