The Kean University Board of Trustees announced its selection of visionary educator Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D, to lead the institution in May of 2020. One and a half years later, the president’s wife, Darlene, daughters Lauryn and Taylor, Kean faculty and students, state lawmakers, and presidents of other colleges and universities across New Jersey, gathered on October 14, 2021 to celebrate his investiture, which had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chosen at the end of a comprehensive national search, Repollet has strong ties to Kean and other New Jersey educational institutions. Repollet received his master’s degree in Educational Administration from Kean in 2000. He also served on the Kean Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2018, assuming the role of secretary as well as chair of Academic Policy and Programs Committee. He began his career as a mathematics teacher and coach in the East Orange School District and held positions as superintendent of the Asbury Park School District and principal of Carteret High School for more than nine years.
Before becoming Kean’s president, Repollet served two and a half years as the commissioner of Education under New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, during which New Jersey’s public school system ranked best in the nation by Education Week two years in a row. He oversaw the shift in remote education amid the COVID-19 pandemic and played a key role in planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
“As I accept this appointment as president, I acknowledge, ‘To whom much is given, much will be required,’” Repollet said in his inaugural speech. He also pledged to “…foster an environment where students learn, grow, take risks, make mistakes, regroup and keep climbing higher.”
Repollet, Kean University’s first Black president, is a man of many firsts including being the first African American commissioner of Education for the State of N.J. and the first Black principal of Carteret High School. —AAC