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

YPS begins meetings with superintendent hopefuls

Dr. Sarena Shivers, director of curriculum for Southfield Public Schools, interviewing with the Ypsilanti Public Schools' Board of Education to replace Dr. James Hawkins, who has served as superintendent for the district since 2005. Photo by Jim Cavanaugh

Dr. Sarena Shivers, director of curriculum for Southfield Public Schools, interviewing with the Ypsilanti Public Schools' Board of Education to replace Dr. James Hawkins, who has served as superintendent for the district since 2005.

Board interviews candidate from Southfield

By Jim Cavanaugh
Aug. 4, 2009    ·    6:27 a.m.

The Ypsilanti Board of Education formally interviewed its final candidate for superintendent Monday night.

Dr. Sarena Shivers, director of curriculum for Southfield Public Schools, looks to replace Dr. James Hawkins, who has served as superintendent since 2005 following the departure of David Zuhlke.

Hawkins was set to retire last month, but agreed to stay on until the board found a replacement.

Now on its second series of the superintendent candidates, the board previously interviewed several individuals in April. Two candidates from the previous round, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Harris of Oak Park and Dedrick Martin, director of equity and achievement at the Champaign, Ill. Unit 4 School District, were recalled and will meet with the board for dinner this week.

Richard Weigel, of Ypsilanti Public Schools, and Dr. Theresa Saunders, of East St. Louis District No. 189, were chosen as the two finalists during the first round of interviews, but neither candidate garnered a majority of board support.

Shivers, who is originally from the Midland area, received her bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and her doctorate in educational leadership from Indiana University.

After she received her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a teacher in Baltimore. After some time spent working for the department of defense, Shivers went on to work in educational administration in Indiana.

Before taking her current position in Southfield, Shivers was employed by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. She lives in Ypsilanti Township and said that her experience working with the ISD and her close proximity to the district will help her easily integrate into the community.

“I believe that I am part of the community and believe I can take an already wonderful school district to another level,” Shivers said.

When asked about her leadership style by Trustee Sarah Devaney, Shivers indicated she enjoyed working collaboratively. Speaking about a summer program to assist students having trouble passing the MEAP exam, Shivers said none of the decisions were made in isolation and people came together to have “meaningful discussions about how we were going to provide opportunities for students.

“I believe in discussing, listening and talking things out,” she said.

Shivers said she expected open communication between herself and the school board if she were chosen as superintendent. However, she realized that there may not always be consensus among all board members.

“I do not believe board members are elected to agree all the time,” she said, adding that it’s a positive when school boards consist of different people with different backgrounds and experiences.

Noting that she was aware of the financial problems YPS faces, Shiver said the district will have to get creative about ways to save money, including looking at ways to cut energy costs and how grades and personnel are configured.

“It’s unrealistic to think that we aren’t going to have to face some programming decisions and personnel decisions,” Shivers added, saying more cuts would be likely in the district.

The board is scheduled to meet with Dr. Sandra Harris today at 5 p.m. for dinner, followed by a discussion in room 138 at Ypsilanti High School. Dedrick Martin will meet with the board Wednesday at 5 p.m., and will also have a discussion with the board following dinner.

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