Meet TMES Staff

Extra Resources

Meet Our Prinicpal

Mr. Mark Gerbino


Mr. Gerbino has been in education for more than twenty five years. He started in the Asbury Park High School District in 2001 as a teacher right here in the Thurgood Marshall School. In 2005 he was promoted to a vice principal at the Asbury Park High School. In 2010 he became the principal of the Asbury Park High School. During his tenure there the high school was ranked the second most improved High School in New Jersey according to the NJ Monthly Magazine’s 2011-2012 ranking.

In 2012, Mr. Gerbino was appointed principal of the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.


Meet the Home Team

In the summer of 2016, Mr. Gavin E. McGrath, became our new Vice Principal. He comes to us with over thirty four years’ experience in education serving as a Special Education Teacher, Facilitator, High School and Elementary Vice Principal. The rest of the team includes 51 teachers, 15 Paraprofessionals, 5 custodian that keep the place beautiful, 2 secretaries, 1 Bilingual Office aide to help translate for our Hispanic population, 3 security officers, 1 LDTC, 1 Social Worker, 2 Speech Specialists, 2 Occupational and Physical Therapists.


Key to meeting our goals began with choosing our Home Team Theme. The purpose of out theme this year is to further our Relationship Building with our School and Community. The administration, teacher, and staff are your children’s Coaches. All the adults in this building will be working from the same Game Plan. Also, we want our students to look at themselves as teammates. In this way the children can focus on their commonalities rather than their differences.


This year we returned to our original mascot, The Thurgood Tiger. This brings us to our academic goals; our mascot can be heard roaring “RREL.”

Rigorous and Challenging Instruction… developing skills that encourage higher level thinking
Relevant and Meaningful Instruction… correlating lessons learned today that can be applied every day.
Engaged Learners… our students will be taught through effectively using their unique learning styles… reading, writing, calculating math, using technology and creating through hands on projects


Supplemental and Enrichment Reading and Math… Through enVisions, Fundations, GOLD, Treasures, and HMH’s (iREAD, System 44, and Read 180).


Student Empowerment… Through (PBSIS) Positive Behavior Support in School, Be Kind People Project, Safety Patrol, Bow Tie Boys and Rain(BOW) Girls, and Student Council our students will be part of the team process.


Writing Skills… Students will be writing across the curriculum through SKYPEing, developing theme projects, and writing pieces in our school newsletter.


Parent Communication… Our parents will be partners with their teachers in coaching our students. The district and our school will hold events that parents will be encouraged to come and participate. Our Parent Liaison will be available as well as our Bilingual Office Aide for assistance.


Teacher Empowerment… Instructional Learning Team (ILT), School Leadership Committee (SLC), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Safety and Be Kind Committee… These are just some of the examples where teacher’s opinions are valued and help produce a more positive school environment.



Mark J Gerbino


Thurgood Marshall Elementary School



Meet Our VP

Mr. Gavin E. McGrath   


I have been working in the district for close to thirty five years. I have been a Special Education Teacher, Facilitator, Interim Supervisor, High School and now Elementary Vice Principal. I’m really excited to work with younger children and help them build a foundation that brings them success in school and in their community.


Right from the first day of my new assignment I felt like this school was a real family. The principal, Mr. Mark Gerbino, the teachers and support staff treat every child as though the students were their own. This year our school theme is “Home Team.” The focus for our teachers and staff is coaching our students by building positive relationships and delivering rigorous (challenging and purposeful) and relevant (students focused on real world application of new skills). This is the year of engaged learners/teammates. In addition we are infusing “Responsive Classrooms,” that ensures that students are empowered.


At most times my job allows me to be the “nice” principal rather than the vice principal. This can only happen because I practice Leadership through Teamwork.  I am very fortunate to have a capable team that makes my job look easy.  I enjoy meeting the students and parents in the morning. I try to visit as many classrooms as I can throughout the day. I am always pleased to witness the interactions between the teachers, partner teachers, and students. Teachers are working to ensure that the students are engaged from the start of the period to the end of the period. I also notice that the students are given lifelong lessons in how to treat one another. The support staff works very hard to follow along with the students’ lessons and offer timely appropriate feedback. Our Guidance Counselor, Child Study Team, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Instructional Coaches, Technology Coach, Speech and Reading Specialist work to fill in the gaps and give the students every opportunity to reach their full potential.


I like using the lunch periods as a “check in time” with the students.  I am quickly learning to read the children’s expressions. When I meet with students in my office I give them two of my business cards. One is for them to come back and see me before they think they are headed for trouble or are just having a bad day. The second card is for their parents. I encourage them to give the card to their parent/guardian to keep and have them call me anytime if they have any questions. As “vice“ principal I try having the student explain why they have found themselves in my office. Most students are pretty honest and give a close representation of the events. The next step is talking about alternative actions they can use when presented with a similar situation. Together we make a list. Before leaving my office they are required to tell me again why they ended up in my office and what alternative behaviors they can practice. In most cases the student is ready they can return to class. A good portion of my day involves calling parents. This line of communication often builds positive relationships. Also, the parents are quick to offer their support in following up with their children. In this way we can all be on the same page. In the case of Parent Conferences I remind the student how fortunate they are because they have are members of the Home Team where every adult in our building loves them.


The school day goes by very quickly. In addition to the content area teachers our students are treated to Health and Physical Education, Music, Art, Science and Computer Labs. Each of these activities are aimed at providing our students with healthy alternatives that stretch their minds and bodies. Our custodians work to maintain a clean and safe learning environment. Our Security Officers keep a watchful eye over our whole building and frequently redirect and lovingly counsel our students. They along with all the staff forge connections and build relationships. Our main office secretaries are knowledgeable in every phase of our school operations. They are the glue that keeps our school functioning and work with parents, students and staff all day long.  I am very fortunate to be the “Vice/Nice” Principal of the Thurgood Marshal Elementary School.


Admit it: Be Honest all the time. This allows other people to trust you.

Fix it: Make an effort to return thing to where they were.

Move on: let it go, accept apologies, everyone deserves a fresh start.


Adapt: Observe students that are doing well and practice that behavior

Adjust: Look at things a different way and try something new.

Change: Make a new habit that brings you success.


A strong mind and body ensures a Bright Future…





 Gavin E. McGrath

“No man ever stands so tall, as when he bends down to help a child”


Meet Our Reading Specialist


Ms. Amanda Napolitani

I have been an educator for the past 25 years working with students in grades K through 12, with over 20 years of educating in the Asbury Park School District.   Prior to becoming the Reading Specialist, I was the Literacy Coach/Instructional Coach for 15 years. 


As the Reading Specialist, my focus is to support and work collaboratively with the entire school community to improve students reading abilities, especially with the struggling readers.  I also assists by supporting teachers with their reading instruction and implementing the best literacy practices with his/her students. 

Meet Our Instructional Support Specialist

Mrs. Jackie Philhower

Meet Our Guidance Counselor

Ms. Victoria Harrell

Meet Our Library Media Specialist

Mr. Edwin Diemer

Meet Our Tech Coach

Mr. Pat Errico