Ypsilanti Citizen Education ]]>

Ypsilanti Schools accept transportation consolidation
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 8, 2010   ·   3:07 p.m.

Connie Shelton, an East Middle School Teacher, speaks against the WISD transportation consolidation plan at Monday's special meeting of the Ypsilanti Board of Education. The board approved the motion to join the consolidation by a vote of 5 to 2.

"Shame on you" echoed through the audience Monday night after the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan to join a countywide consolidated...read more

Willow Run appoints new board member
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 5, 2010   ·   8:16 a.m.

The Willow Run School Board looks on as Kristine Thomas, a district parent and previous board member, is sworn in as trustee on Thursday night. Thomas will take the position of Joi Jenson who resigned in early May.

The Willow Run School Board appointed a new, yet familiar trustee to the board of education during their regular meeting Thursday night.

Kristine Thomas, a Willow...read more

Willow Run approves county-wide transportation plan
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 27, 2010   ·   2:09 p.m.

The Willow Run School District signed on to a countywide consolidated transportation plan at their regular board meeting last week.

The plan aims to save transportation...read more

Lincoln offers summer courses to area high-schoolers
By Mark Tower
May. 26, 2010   ·   7:49 p.m.

Students from Lincoln and other nearby districts are being invited to participate in Lincoln High School's Summer Academy this year, registration for which opened...read more

Willow Run terminates student services administrator
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 26, 2010   ·   12:26 a.m.

Willow Run School Board President Sheri Washington said she didn't know if the district was going to press charges against former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks after the board fired Hicks during a special meeting Tuesday night.

The Willow Run Board of Education unanimously voted to terminate its contract with former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks Tuesday night during a special...read more

John Brooks

John Brooks, Willow Run board candidate in today's election. Photo by Dan DuChene

John Brooks, Willow Run board candidate in today's election.
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Willow Run board candidate

By Dan DuChene
May. 5, 2009    ·    8:02 a.m.

Willow Run Board of Education candidate John Brooks thinks now is the right time for him to run for the seat.

The 38-year-old parent of three has been living in the district with his wife for 11 years, after he left the US Navy. He has three sons. The oldest is a 20-year-old 2006 Willow Run graduate. The youngest is an 8-year-old Holmes student.

Brooks has been active with the district since 1999, when he started working with the district’s athletic boosters after his son picked up basketball and football. The Ford employee said he had been thinking of running for the past few years, but a shift change prevented a run in the last election.

Now, Brooks said he has the seniority to where he can choose shifts that shouldn’t interfere with board involvement.

“I see things that need to be done that aren’t done correctly,” Brooks said.

The largest affliction in the district he could point to was “bickering” between board members during meetings.

“You can’t have a split head and expect the body to follow,” he said. “It’s tearing the district apart.”

Brooks said he would like to see board members more active in the schools and more visible in the community. He suggested a program that would assign a member to each building and require them to make frequent and regular visits.

“I feel I’m more in tune with the community,” Brooks said. “I’m in the school every day of the week.”

From that point, Brooks said the board could collaborate and discuss a more accurate picture of what the community wants.

Brooks said he would like to reprioritize the budget and find alternative revenue to fund programs that would attract students to the district. He pointed to private donations from community businesses that could fund new athletic programs. He said he has personally seen a lack or removal of programs that have led directly to enrollment decreases.

Specifically, Brooks mentioned adding bowling and lacrosse as competitive sports. He said allowing the boosters to pick up more costs to run the program would allow the district to spread its money further.

“Those are big sports to pick up,” he said. “That attracts kids.”

Brooks also said he wants to put the successful programs the school is already running out in the public eye. He used Willow Run’s district-wide spelling bee as an example.

“Nobody has ever showcased that,” he said. “That’s something that needs to be put out there.”

Brooks also pointed to the district’s open enrollment program, which allows parents to send their student to any elementary school in the district and provides busing for that choice, as a place Willow Run to save some money.

“That’s overlap,” he said. “That’s overspending on man hours.”

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