SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The day before Gov. Phil Murphy began his self-quarantine for coronavirus exposure, he was in South Orange to announce his nomination of Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Ed.D., as the next Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education.
At the ceremony, Murphy said in front of the entrance doors at the Marshall School, "This is where Angelica set foot on the path that would lead her to today." Allen-McMillan was principal of the elementary school for 12 years.
“From day one, I pledged to select a Commissioner of Education with experience in public education. We fulfilled that promise through the nomination of Dr. Repollet, and maintain that promise today,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”
“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,” said incoming Acting DOE Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan. “I am extremely proud the Governor has put his faith in me to continue New Jersey’s tradition of educational excellence.”
New Jersey General Assembly Member Mila Jasey said on her Facebook page that "We worked together when I served on the [South Orange-Maplewood] School Board. All eyes are on NJ’s public schools, and I am confident that Acting Commissioner Allen-McMillan is eminently qualified to undertake the enormous task she faces."
Not everyone on Jasey's page seemed so confidant. Although most of the responses were wishes of congratulations, Kathleen Kargoll commented on Jasey's post, "I was PTA president at Marshall during her tenure. She was the worst Principal I have ever encountered in my life. Her entire career has been dedicated to her own self-promotion. This was evident 14 years ago at Marshall. She was not dedicated to the children at all, and she created a hellacious work environment for the teachers. I am happy to discuss my experience with anyone interested and plan on lobbying state senators to oppose this nomination."
In a press release from the governor's office, it was noted that Dr. Allen-McMillan has served since 2018 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, Dr. Allen-McMillan has worked as a teacher and administrator in various school communities throughout New Jersey.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Allen-McMillan is a graduate of Cornell University, and received her master's and doctorate degree in Education, Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University. She resides in Montclair with her husband, Randy, and their three children.
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