The superintendent of the Asbury Park School District, Dr. Lamont Repollet, has been named the state’s next commissioner of education.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who took office following his inauguration on Tuesday, Jan. 16, announced the appointment a few days previously, citing the educator’s leadership and “real-world experience.”

“If we are to move ahead, we need strong leadership at the Department of Education with the real-world experience, both in and out of the classroom, to ignite an education revolution,” Murphy said in making his announcement.

NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod issued a statement congratulating Repollet, and praising his background and experience.

“Dr. Repollet’s background in public education and his experience as a district superintendent should prove valuable to the new administration as it addresses critical issues such as closing the achievement gap, assessment, and facilities,” Dr. Feinsod said.

“We extend our sincerest congratulations to Dr. Repollet. We look forward to working with him and the new administration as they implement their agenda for New Jersey’s public schools.”

Repollet has been superintendent of the urban Monmouth County district since 2014. Under his tenure, the Asbury Park High School graduation rate rose from 49 to 71 percent. A new coordinated program was created with Brookdale Community College, giving Asbury Park students a way to earn college credits. New focus has also been placed on serving students’ social and emotional needs, including instituting wellness practices.

Dr. Repollet, who must be confirmed by the state Senate, replaces outgoing Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington, who has served as the state’s chief education officer since 2016. Feinsod praised Harrington for her dedication to the state’s public school students.

“Kim Harrington has been a true educational leader, devoted to excellence in New Jersey’s public schools,” he said. “Whenever and wherever she spoke, Kim Harrington has always stressed the importance of listening to the voices of children.”