Asbury Park School Superintendent Sancha Gray has submitted her letter of resignation, effective June 30, the end of the school year.
Gray has been with the district for six years, when she was hired as Director of Curriculum by then Superintendent Lamont Repollet.
According to Board President Sheila Etienne, Gray said in her letter of resignation that she was leaving to pursue other opportunities.
During her tenure in the district Gray served as assistant superintendent/curriculum director, then superintendent/curriculum director, for which she received a curriculum director stipend and then superintendent.
Etienne said it is a difficult time for the district which, like all districts, is dealing with the pandemic.
“It’s a volatile time, we are dealing with $6.5 million in budget cuts,” she said.
Etienne said as of now the board favors hiring an interim superintendent while a search committee is formed to find the right person to take a permanent position.
The board will be advertising and using whatever resources offered by the New Jersey School Boards Association as members search for the right candidate to take over the district.
“We want to get the best qualified candidate, someone with the certifications and experience…..someone who can pick up without missing a beat,” she said.
She said there are candidates presently in the district who are qualified but the board will be looking both internally and externally for the right person to become the chief school administrator.
As board president she is the chair of the personnel committee, but said a separate committee will be put in place for the search committee.
One thing Etienne said she is looking for in a candidate is someone with a good financial background. She also said the committee will be looking for someone who knows the district.
“We want someone who knows our population; the social, economical demographics,”’
She is the fifth superintendent in the district during the last eight years.
Over the last several months rumors have circulated on the internet about Gray joining former School Superintendent Lamont Repollet at Kean University, where he is president. When he left the city district he took a post as state schools commissioner. In the past she declined to comment on the issue.
The Asbury Park school district has had the highest per-pupil spending in the state according to size – $42,382. Approximately 1,700 students are enrolled.
Like other school districts the board, staff and students have been struggling during the pandemic. The school year began in September with an all-remote schedule and switched to a hybrid plan in October. It switched back to all remote later in the fall after a Covid outbreak and then back to hybrid.