By: Follow South Jersey Staff
TRENTON. N.J. — Governor Phil Murphy has nominated Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Ed.D. as the next Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education.
“From day one, I pledged to select a Commissioner of Education with experience in public education,” Murphy said. “We fulfilled that promise through the nomination of Dr. Repollet, and maintain that promise today. A product of New Jersey’s public schools, Angelica has worked at all levels of education and knows exactly what our teachers and students need to succeed. She is an exemplary educator and I’m confident she is the leader we need to carry our school communities through the remainder of this pandemic and beyond.”
Murphy also acknowledged outgoing Interim Commissioner Kevin Dehmer for his work during an “unprecedented time” of navigating the state’s schools through the pandemic
“[Dehmer] will continue to serve the DOE as CFO and Assistant Commissioner and will work alongside Angelica to advance an agenda that puts our students’ health, achievement, and well-being first, and maintains our state’s reputation as home to the nation’s best public education system,” Murphy stated.
Dehmer thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve as interim commissioner and touted the department’s success over the past several months.
“Together we developed a strong framework that continues to put student success in a safe environment as our top priority,” Dehmer said.
“I am a proud product of New Jersey’s magnificent public education system and I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the children of this state continue to get the type of education I received,” Allen-McMillan said. “I am extremely proud the Governor has put his faith in me to continue New Jersey’s tradition of educational excellence.”
In a joint statement, New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) President Marie Blistan, Vice President Sean M. Spiller and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty said that they look forward to working closely with Allen-McMillan in her new role.
“Strong leadership is more important than ever right now as New Jersey’s public schools continue to navigate this challenging school year,” they said. “We are committed to working with the new commissioner to ensure that our students are safe, healthy and learning and we look forward to bringing the voices of working educators to the table to ensure that happens.
“At a time when every classroom, virtual or in-person, looks very different than before, it is more important than ever to listen to the people who are still helping our students flourish. Dr. Allen-McMillan is taking the helm of America’s premier public school system. We trust that, as an experienced educator herself, the commissioner shares those priorities and will work alongside us to lead new Jersey’s public schools to even greater success and even better outcomes for the students we educate.”
Since 2018, Allen-McMillan has served as Interim Executive County Superintendent for Morris County, where she supports and oversees school districts within the county on behalf of the Department of Education.
For over 25 years, Allen-McMillan has worked as a teacher and administrator in various school communities throughout New Jersey. From 2017 to 2018, she served as Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education for the Newark Public Schools system. Prior to holding that position, she served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructions in the Irvington School District.
She also served as a middle school Life and Physical Science teacher in the East Orange School District, the Executive Director of the Marion P. Thomas Charter School in Newark, Assistant Principal of Clinton Elementary School in Maplewood, and Principal of the Marshall School in South Orange.
Allen-McMillan will replace Interim DOE Commissioner Kevin Dehmer, who has held the position since the appointment of former DOE Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet as the next President of Kean University in July 2020. She will serve as Acting Commissioner until she is confirmed by the State Senate.
The Montclair resident is a graduate of Cornell University, where she received a baccalaureate degree in Industrial and Labor Relations. In addition, she received a master’s and a doctorate degree in Education, Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.
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