Asbury Park's Political Power Struggle

 It's the tale of two cities. To the east, a blooming waterfront and downtown thrives with summer tourists, bars, eclectic shops, upscale condominiums and a growing gay community. To the west lies an enclave of deteriorating public housing projects, bodegas, rental homes and most of the schools in the city's troubled district.

Barack H. Obama Elementary School Gets New Playground

ASBURY PARK – Students of the Barack H. Obama Elementary School now have a playground to call their own. The Asbury Park School District hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 14 to mark the occasion.

The ribbon was cut by Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell, who was assisted by Principal Kathy Baumgardner and Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet. As an added bonus, the school’s Super Star Students for the month were allowed to be the first to try out the new equipment.

Baumgardner said her students had observed with anticipation the playground’s construction over the past six weeks.

“I love that the students were able to see, from the ground up, how a playground is assembled. They are so amazed at how it has developed into the final product,” she added. “I am excited for the students of this community. They have a beautiful building, and now, they have a beautiful play area!”

The playground is divided into two sections – a tot lot for age three to five; and one for elementary students age five to 12. The facility is open to students only during school hours.  The equipment, manufactured by Game Time, is designed to enhance youths’ cognitive (Connect 3, Tick, Tac Toe and Rubik’s Cube) and motor skills (two rock climbing devices, sliding boards and monkey bars).

Mayor Campbell said the unveiling was extra special to her as she was instrumental in August 2009 in renaming the building, formerly known as the Bangs Avenue School. She said her goal was to encourage the students to look up to Sasha and Malia Obama as role models each time they entered the building named after their father.

“Never stop dreaming,” Campbell said.  “You can be anything you want to be.”

Asbury Park Electorate Being Snub

Asbury Park faces what may be its most important election in years next month when control of the school board and City Council are at stake, and city residents will be electing a mayor for the first time under the new form of government approved by voters last year.

Two Slates Face Off in Asbury Park School Board Elections

 Two slates. Six candidates. Three open seats.

The future of Asbury Park's schoolchildren is in the hands of city voters.

On Nov. 4, the A-Team and Moving Forward campaign slates will face off in the school board election to fill the three seats left open by expired terms.

Asbury Park School Board Candidates Talk Issues Live

Asbury Park candidates for the district's Board of Education on the "Moving Forward" slate joined the Asbury Park Press editorial board Monday for a live chat about their platform and issues facing the district ranging from fiscal accountability to school board dysfunction and academic programs.

Meet Asbury Park Superintendent Lamont Repollet

When Lamont Repollet takes over as Asbury Park's new schools superintendent next month, he'll be carrying a white hard hat at his side. The hat, Repollet says, is a message to his students, and the community: Just like a construction worker, he's ready to rebuild this struggling school district from the bottom up.

School Board Inks Deal with New Superintendent

The Asbury Park Board School District has a new chief schools administrator. Carteret High School Principal Dr. Lamont Repollet was issued a five-year contract effective September 29, 2014 at $157,500 per year for the balance of the current school year and for a further term of four years. His salary for the 2013-2014 school year will be pro-rated.

Editorial: A New Day For Asbury Schools


Last week, the divided Asbury Park Board of Education finally accomplished something that it had been unwilling or unable to do for months: reach a consensus on a new school superintendent.

Asbury Park Schools Select New Superintedent

The city’s school district has selected a new leader. The Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to appoint Lamont Repollet, principal of Carteret High School, as its permanent superintendent.

Barack Obama School Reopens to Students

With two eager elementary children prancing at her side, Erin Hicks walked up to the reopened Barack H. Obama Elementary School with a smile of relief. For the first time since her now second-grade son started kindergarten, Hicks has an elementary school in her neighborhood.

Bradley Elementary Welcomes Students With Cheers

Students at Bradley Elementary School walked in for their first day of school Thursday to see faculty and staff dressed in athletic clothes and shouting this year’s school theme “One Team, One Goal.” The theme expresses the school administration’s vision to work together with faculty, staff and parents to ensure students’ success, according to school principal Thea Jackson.

Barack Obama School Poised to Welcome Students

On Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7:50 a.m., the first official school day will begin for district students, including those who will attend the newly re-opened Barack Obama Elementary School. Late last week, teachers put the finishing touches on their classrooms and bulletin boards as elementary students will be returning to the building for the first time since 2011, according to Chanta L. Jackson, the district’s director of communication.