New Asst. Principal Welcomed at Lafayette Ave. School
Marco Freyre joined the staff at Lafayette Avenue School Monday.
After almost ten years in the classroom, Marco Freyre said he is ready to take the next step in his career and take over as assistant principal at Lafayette Avenue School.
"I'm going to try to introduce myself to everybody, put out a positive vibe and talk to as many people as I can," Freyre said. "I'm just really excited about the whole thing. I can't wait to get started."
Freyre's first day in Chatham was Monday. For the last nine years, he worked as a fifth-grade teacher in the Long Hill school district and served as Dean of Students at Millington School.
Cheryl Caggiano, the principal at LAS, said Freyre's job description will be similar to that of Brian Fleming, who resigned to become the principal at Mountain Lakes' Briarcliff Middle School. "He'll deal with issues of discipline, and he'll be the Anti-Bullying Coordinator at the school," Caggiano said.
Before the state required an Anti-Bullying Coordinator in each school, Freyre worked with a program in Long Hill called Helping Hands. "It was all about anti-bullying throughout the school. Fifth-graders would go into classrooms and conduct lessons on anti-bullying," he said.
When the anti-bullying legislation passed, Freyre served on a committee that helped to institute the new rules on the campus.
At Millington, Freyre said there were about 500 students between grades 2 and 5. At LAS, he will help oversee a student population of about 700 students in only two grade levels.
"It's definitely is a bigger population of students, but I'm up for the challenge. There are going to be difficulties: There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be down. But I’m going to stay consistent, and that is probably one of the biggest things I can do in the year," Freyre said.
Staying with the same age group he's worked with for nearly a decade is part of the job's appeal for Freyre. "I know the age group so well. I've been with them for so long. I know the way they think, for the most part, and their interests. I feel like there's going to be an easy connection, a smooth transition," Freyre said.
Freyre has also coached kids at the middle school level, and he said there are subtle yet significant changes as the children grow. Students develop quickly at those ages, and Freyre said even one year can make a difference.
"At fourth and fifth grade, you know, everything is at these kids' fingertips. They're not so young that you can pull something over on them, but they're not so old that they think they know everything. They still want to learn and know things, but they can understand. They can really grasp a concept," Freyre said. "It's a great age. They're like sponges."
Freyre, a native of Roselle Park, earned his bachelor's degree from Northeastern University in 2002. He earned his master’s degree in education administration from Kean University in 2011 with a 4.0 grade point average. , earned in 2011. He currently lives in Union with his 2-year-old daughter Juliana and his wife Laura, a native of Chatham.