Antoine L. Gayles, Ed.D.
I bring a rich background in the public, private, and non-profit arenas. After completing my Master’s Degree in Management of Human Services at Brandeis University in 1990, I became an Investor Services Specialist for a NatWest Investor Services in New York City. During my tenure on Wall Street, I turned my attention to young children by participating in a company-sponsored mentoring program, the READY Foundation, in Newark, NJ. This experience marked a significant turning point in my career. In 1993, I joined the staff of the READY Foundation as a Program Coordinator in Newark, NJ. Two years later, I transitioned to Communities in Schools as the Project Director for the Bobby Brooks Academy at Harold Wilson Middle School. My successful experiences in these community-based organizations led me to employment with the State Department of Education.
In 1997 I joined the State Department of Education’s Program Improvement Regional Center North as an Education Specialist, where I worked with Abbott school districts to develop their Whole School Reform implementation plans and zero-based budgets.
In October 1999 I became the Assistant Principal at Lincoln Avenue School, was promoted to Principal of the Alternative High School in January 2000, then Principal of Orange Middle School in August of 2003. During this time, I worked on a number of projects and pilot programs that resulted in improved academic achievement and increased graduation rates for graduating seniors, including traditional and block scheduling, implementation of a small learning community (school within a school model), implementing instructional best practices, i.e. differentiated instruction and Understanding by Design. I also worked on several district level initiatives including playing an integral role in opening the district’s newly built K-8 elementary school, Main Street School, in 2004.
Prior to becoming the Hillside Public Schools Superintendent, I served as the Principal of Avon Avenue School in Newark, from 2005-2007 and the Assistant Principal at Piscataway High School, a culturally diverse high school that provided educational services to over 2,200 students, from 2007-2016. While in Piscataway, Dr. Gayles also served as the high school master scheduler, testing coordinator, Industrial Arts Department Chair, President of the Piscataway Principal and Supervisors Association and worked on the high school redesign team that implemented the Freshman Foundation, a novel approach to the freshman academy. My efforts to improve student performance on the High School Proficiency and PARCC Assessments included creating a targeted intervention program (Project Success), revamping the after school tutoring program, coordinating the America Reads tutoring program in partnership with Rutgers University and creating I.M.A.G.E., Individuals Mastering Achievement, Gaining Empowerment, a leadership and mentoring program for African American and Hispanic males. In spite of it all, some of his most memorable moments were celebrating the rich cultural diversity that existed in each school community by organizing Hispanic Heritage Month, African American History and Women in History Month activities. I believe that “To celebrate the diversity that exists in our community strengthens our connections with each other and demonstrates our willingness to transcend merely tolerating diversity to eagerly embracing with sincere appreciation the very qualities that make us unique.”
As an advocate for students, I have worked with parents and community stakeholders such as the FBI, Rutgers University, NJIT, Raritan Valley Community College, Lincoln Technical Institute, Berkeley College and the NAACP of Metuchen to help young people develop the self-confidence, discipline and focus, refine the tools that move them toward their goals. It is important that they support their aspirations to becoming life-long, independent learners, problem solvers and positive role models for others.
As the former Superintendent of the Hillside Public School District, (2016-2020) I worked to revise district curricula, implement the Ready, Set, Grow mentoring program and Hillside High School’s first dual enrollment course with NJIT and Union County College, that resulted in students being able to earn 3 college credits while still in high school; professional development partnerships with Kean University and Montclair State University; managed the completion of the district’s grades 6-12 1:1 technology initiative, the $6.25 million dollar construction project at George Washington School, in addition to several district facilities renovations and upgrades.
I am currently a member of the Mount Olive Board of Education, the Morris County School Boards Legislative Committee, served on the NJIT Real World Challenges Program Parent Advisory Board, an entrepreneur and former recreation coach and an adjunct professor at Centenary University since the Spring of 2016 semester.
Dr. Gayles graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Political Science, received his MA from Brandeis University, and earned his Doctorate in Education Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University.
As Mount Olive celebrates its 150th anniversary, it is an honor to be a part of this new journey, with an opportunity to contribute to the next 150 years of Mount Olive growth and prosperity. I look forward to collaborating with Mount Olive residents on what comes next for our community.”