Ypsilanti Citizen Education Ypsilanti Cycle

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

Packed room gives heat at Willow Run Board

Photo by Christine Laughren

Emotions ran high last evening during public comments at the Willow Run Board of Education meeting. Several members of the Washtenaw County Education Association spoke as well as parents and teachers.
Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

Parents, teachers speak out against adminstration, board members

By Dan DuChene
Dec. 19, 2008    ·    10:17 a.m.

The Kettering Elementary gymnasium was packed with people for the Willow Run Board of Education meeting last night.

There was barely room to stand against a wall, as the audience was packed with parents waiting for their children to tell the board what they had been learning in class, as well as local residents, parents, teachers and out-of-district teachers looking to speak out against the board.

Audience participation, which followed songs and presentations by Kettering students, erupted into an impassioned criticism of the board. At one point it became so heated Dr. Doris Hope-Jackson, the district’s superintendent, got up and left the room.

Five of the ten speakers were out of district teachers from Washtenaw County, there to present winter garments collected for Willow Run students in need, as well as point out where they saw problems in the way Willow Run has been conducting business.

“Every dollar spent on things other than teaching kids detracts from their education,” said Joe Romeo, president of the Dexter Education Association, last night.

Romeo complained of the Willow Run administration spending $13,000 in legal fees to stop the request of a teacher receiving $700 in extra pay.

Other teachers complained of the formal action taking place between the Willow Run teachers’ bargaining unit, the Willow Run Education Association, and the administration.

Comparing Willow Run to her district, Ypsilanti Public Schools, teacher Kelly Powers said Willow Run has had 24 grievances filed in one year, compared to Ypsilanti’s one. She said Willow Run had 15 arbitrations with its teachers, and her district had two.

“The willow run board needs to hear the cries for help,” said Powers, president of the Ypsilanti Education Association. “You are allowing your district to fail.”

It was after Joi Jenson started her speech to the board when Jackson got up and left the room. Jenson is chair of the citizens’ group Willow Run FIRST. She said Jackson, and other administrators, had created an unwelcoming hostile, environment in the district. She said the group did not value students, teachers, parents, the community or the district.

“Customer service should be the number one priority of anyone that provides a community service,” Jenson said. “Parents are uniting.”

Claudette Braxton, the board’s president, and Jenson continually tried to speak over each other.

“I don’t respect your right to be disrespectful Ms Jenson,” Braxton said.

Travis Greer, treasurer of Willow Run FIRST, then announced his organization had collected more than enough signatures to put their approved recall language on a ballot. He said the group needed more than 1,500 signatures to recall Braxton’s seat, as well as trustees Clifford Smith and Andy Blakita.

Greer, a former board member and Willow Run graduate, said his organization had collected more than 1,800 signatures. He called on the recalled board members to resign by Monday or face the recall.

“A recall election, as you know is not fun,” Greer said. “It can be detrimental to both the individual and district.

“The community asks you to do the right thing, submit your resignation,” he said.

After the meeting, Braxton said she was “saddened by the misinformation.

“Every grievance that happened was instigated by the teachers’ union,” Braxton said. “We haven’t lost one, to my knowledge.”

When asked about the recall election, Braxton said, “Let the democratic process happen.”

Jackson had no comment after the meeting.


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