By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
The Asbury Park School District has a new superintendent filling the position vacated by Dr. Lamont Repollet after he was named Commissioner of Education by Governor Phillip Murphy.
Sancha K. Gray, who has been acting superintendent since January, was appointed to the position at a recent Board of Education meeting.
Gray had been the assistant superintendent for one year after serving as Director of Curriculum and Instruction since 2014.
Gray was born and raised in Brooklyn and began her teaching career in East Orange teaching math and social studies in the middle school.
She then worked as the vice principal of math in Plainfield before going back to work in Carteret as a middle school vice principal from 2008 to 2014.
Gray is very impressed with the community support she has witnessed since coming to the district four years ago.
“It’s fantastic, I have never worked in a community where the school district has so much community support as in this great city,” she said.
She is most impressed with the way the city has become an extension of the classroom, illustrated this weekend during the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival when students “headlined” with Haitian rapper WycleffJean for a program at the Stone Pony.
Gray said the Lakehouse Music Academy was responsible for the Wyclef Jean program.
“Lakehouse Music made that happen for us,” she said.
Gray said she recently was contacted by Bloomfield College about partnering with the district.
“Since becoming acting superintendent I have been able to foster new relationships and partnerships,” she said.
She said businesses, organizations and residents “can’t do enough” for the schools.
“How many more partnerships will there be?” she said.
Gray said collaborations with the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, NJPAC and possibly Madison Marquette in the near future give her confidence in the future of the district.
She said one of her foremost goals is to bring a comprehensive performing arts program to the district.
“I am just delighted and very blessed to be a part of the renaissance,” she said.