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Report: Murphy picks Education Commissioner

By David Wildstein

POLITICO is reporting that Lamont Repollet, the Asbury Park Superintendent of Schools, is Gov.-elect Phil Murphy’s choice to be the Commissioner of Education.

Repollet, 46, became the leader of the troubled Asbury Park public school system in 2014, after serving as the principal of Carteret High School for nine years.  He got the job after the school district’s state-appointed monitor rejected the local school board’s hiring of another candidate.

In 2015, John Napolitani, the president of the Asbury Park Education Association, praised Repollet, telling the Asbury Park Pres that “he s a true leader at heart.”  Last summer, Napolitani continued his praise of Repollet.

While not overtly political, Lamont did back Frank Gilliam for Mayor of Atlantic City in 2017 – and endorsement that won’t hurt him when Senate President Steve Sweeney considers his nomination.

At his conformation hearing, Repollet will likely get questions about his work as a Kean University Trustee.  Repollet voted to extend the $314,571-a-year contract of controversial Kean president Darwood Farahi despite a vote on no-confidence by the faculty.

He will also be asked about his decision to send his own children to Far Hill Country Day School, rather than to pubic schools in Franklin Township, where he lives.  Repollet serves on the board of the school, where tuition is as high as $35,970 and alums include former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former U.S. Senator Nicholas Brady, and former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes.

State Senators Kip Bateman (R-Somerset) and Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) have courtesy over his appointment.

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