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A Message from Superintendent Gregory

Dear Parents and Family Members, 

As many of you may know, on October 22, 2018 the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint me to serve as Superintendent of Marion P. Thomas Charter School.    I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as the leader of this historic school.  On the eve of our 20th Anniversary, I remain confident we can take “the village” to new heights and make the vision and dreams of our school’s co-founders, a living reality for our scholars and families.  

I come to the village with over 20 years of experience in public education in the city of Newark, the place of my birth and city I love.  From my childhood years attending Harriet Tubman Elementary School in the Central Ward to my time as the founding principal of American History High School and more recently the Interim Superintendent of the Newark Public Schools, I know personally the important role our schools play in the lives of the thousands of young people in Newark.  

I would like to thank and acknowledge the esteemed members of the Board of Trustees, the Interim Chief School Administrator; Misha Simmonds, and our school’s former CEO and co-founder, Dr. Karen Thomas as they all played a vital role in bringing me to the village, a special place.  

I have great confidence in the citizens of Newark and am a firm believer in the adage, “it takes a whole village to raise a child.”   I intend to leverage the collective genius of all stakeholders as we move into this new era of MPTCS.    I remain committed to ensuring our scholars leave our village prepared for college, careers, and life in the 21st century. Our schools in the village will become seamless pathways that map our scholars towards successful futures.  While there is no “silver bullet,” I look forward to working in partnership with people in and around the village to create systemic and strategic pathways that foster continuous cycles of improvement in all our schools.  Our scholars deserve nothing short of excellence.      

My top priority is to ensure that our educators and school leaders can stay focused on continuing to improve how we educate Newark’s most important and precious resource, our scholars.   As we move forward together, I’d like to provide you with information about ways you can engage in the transformation process our schools will undergo to support student learning.   

School-Based Forums for Families

  •  In the coming weeks I will be hosting forums at all 4 schools in the village to provide families an opportunity to meet me, learn a little more about my background, but most importantly, listen to you about your experience at MPTCS and where there are opportunities for us to make the village a better place for our students, educators, and families.


  •  There will be two opportunities to engage in school-based forums with the Superintendent- one during afterschool hours and another at chat and chew breakfast sessions in the morning.


  • I look forward to meeting and hearing from you and will provide you a copy of my 60-90 Day Entry Plan, which outlines my goals during this transition.

When I began my first day as Superintendent, I visited MPTCS Select and MPTCS Steam. I visited classrooms and spoke to students in multiple grades.  I shared with them that I was sitting where they were over 40 years ago and promised them that if they work hard, they can be anything they want to be in life; whether that is an educator, a successful business-person, or even the President of the United States.  

Let’s work together over these next few months to make sure that promise is true.   Please follow me on Twitter as of November 5th at @ARobertGregory or MPTCS’ Facebook page for daily updates on the incredible work we will do on behalf of our scholars and their families.  

Those who met in the pews of New Hope Baptist Church over 20 years ago realized the importance of education and its relationship to the vitality of our city.  Our goal remains that all of Newark’s children are prepared for the opportunities in 21st century America, and that the dreams they are imagining now become their reality in the future.  

As you will often here me say, “A better tomorrow, starts with us today.”  


Robert Gregory


Marion P. Thomas Charter Schools