NEWARK, NJ - Newark Vocational High School is reopening this fall and could be renamed to the Kenneth A. Gibson Career and Technical Education High School for the 2020-2021 school year. 

If approved, the school renaming honoring Newark’s first black mayor will join a list of efforts the city is taking to preserve Gibson’s legacy. 

In May, Mayor Ras Baraka renamed Broad Street to Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson Boulevard. A statue capturing a moment from his first victory inauguration speech in 1970 and overlooking Broad Street, unveiled in June. 

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"It is both a distinct honor and privilege to be part of the process of honoring the late great Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson," said Boardmember Reginald Bledsoe, who proposed the resolution to rename Newark Vocational.

The school renaming was not introduced by the April deadline to submit name changes to the state for the upcoming school year, so the name change will be considered for the following school year. 

“We also need a recommendation from our superintendent and we need 1,000 signatures from citizens,” said Board President Josephine Garcia, referring to board policy on the renaming of schools and facilities. 

No one appears to be against the change.

Boardmember Bledsoe says he will continue to push until the name is changed.

"Renaming Newark Vocational High School in honor of Mayor Gibson is a fitting tribute to a man who gave so much of his life to the City of Newark," he said.

The resolution was tabled to a governance committee meeting in August. 


Correction: This article was updated to include a quote from Boardmember Reginald Bledsoe.