Robert Treat Academy’s North Campus Named in Honor of Founder
The North Ward campus of Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark has been named in honor of its founder, Stephen N. Adubato, Sr.
A new sign on the school bearing Adubato's name was unveiled during The North Ward Center's 13th Annual Gala held Friday, October 24 at the school. The Gala raised funds for the expansion of Robert Treat Academy's Jackie Robinson Campus in Newark's Central Ward.
"More than anyone else, Steve is responsible for the creation of Robert Treat Academy," said Adrianne Davis, the Executive Director of The North Ward Center. "Without Steve's vision and leadership, there would be no Robert Treat Academy."
Adubato, who started The North Ward Center in 1970, went on to found Robert Treat Academy in 1997. It was among the first charter schools to open in the state and has since become a nationally acclaimed K-8 school.
In 2008, Robert Treat was named a Blue Ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education, which also featured the school on its web site as a "high performing, high poverty school." Robert Treat's student population is predominantly African-American and Hispanic.
Robert Treat has also been designated as a "High-Performing Rewards School," for the last three years by the state Department of Education. Robert Treat was only one of 89 schools in the state, and 11 in Essex County, to receive the recognition.
Robert Treat students consistently score above state averages in standardized testing and are among the highest in the state, achieving results similar to school districts in wealthy suburbs, such as Livingston and Millburn.
In 2009, Robert Treat opened a second campus on William Street in the Central Ward. The school started with a kindergarten and first-grade and currently has 175 students in grades K-6. In two years, the school will have 225 students in grades K-8.
Robert Treat Academy Principal Theresa Adubato said the Central Ward school must be expanded so students have the same educational environment as those at the campus in the North Ward.
Plans call for new classrooms for seventh- and eighth-grade students, music and art rooms and a new multipurpose auditorium/gymnasium/cafeteria. The existing media room will be converted into a science lab and the existing gym into a library and media room.
"While it can be argued that a building does not make a good school, I am passionate that my students' learning environment not be compromised because it is located in an urban setting," Theresa Adubato said.
The Central Ward campus last year was named after Jackie Robinson, the baseball player who broke the color barrier when he became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
"We've always admired Jackie Robinson because of the way he lived his life," Theresa Adubato said. "He was a great American whose contributions changed the world."
At the Gala, The North Ward Center honored Robert Detore, the president of the Robert Treat Academy Board of Trustees, and Emil Garruto, the president of The North Ward Center Board of Trustees.
Stephen N. Adubato said both men have given back to the community over the years.
"Both Robert and Emil are two unsung heroes who have devoted so much of their time to ensure that children in Newark have opportunities to be successful," Adubato said. "I am proud that they have chosen to work with us."