Ypsilanti Citizen Education Sidetrack

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

Ypsi Schools' superintendent interviews begin

Dr. Linda Hicks, superintendent for South Redford Schools, interviews with the Ypsilanti Board of Education Tuesday night. Hicks was one of two candidates interviewed that night, and one of seven this week. Photo by James Cavanaugh

Dr. Linda Hicks, superintendent for South Redford Schools, interviews with the Ypsilanti Board of Education Tuesday night. Hicks was one of two candidates interviewed that night, and one of seven this week.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

First two candidates meet with YPS Board

By James Cavanaugh
Apr. 15, 2009    ·    8:19 a.m.

The Ypsilanti Board of Education interviewed its first two superintendent candidates, Derrick R. Coleman and Dr. Linda S. Hicks, Tuesday night.

Board President David Bates called the interviews “one of the important things we’ll do this year.”

The board first met with Coleman, who currently serves as assistant superintendent of Detroit Public Schools.

Before Coleman, an Eastern Michigan University graduate, began working in his current role at DPS, he served in administration positions in the Pontiac, River Rouge and Lincoln school districts. He served as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools from 1997-1999 before moving into an administrative role.

Although Coleman conceded at the end of his interview that he might not have been as experienced as some of the other candidates, he did say that his experiences would make him an excellent superintendent.

“I believe all the work I’ve done prepares me to be superintendent of Ypsilanti Public Schools,” Coleman said, adding that while he was principal at Pontiac Central High School, he worked to increase graduation by 54 percent.

“The rate ate at which urban students are not graduating is alarming,” Coleman noted.

Coleman stressed the importance of relationships and making connections at several points during his interview, saying that he will use those connections to help solve problems.

“A focus of my administration would be to connect with those families that are disconnected,” Coleman said. “I believe that when you put the needs of the community and students first—it will guide your objectives.”

As for outlining challenges to YPS, Coleman mentioned that many students are beginning to fall behind in subjects like math and science, and those subjects will be needed to compete in a global economy.

“I believe that our focus in preparing students in math in science needs to become just that—our primary focus,” Coleman said.

Following Coleman’s interview, the board met with Dr. Linda Hicks.

Before becoming superintendent of the South Redford School District, Hicks served in administrative roles in Willow Run Community Schools and the Three Rivers Community School District, located south of Kalamazoo. She also spent 12 years as a teacher in Three Rivers. She has a doctorate in educational leadership from Seton Hall University.

Hicks told the board her style of leadership revolves around “keeping [her] focus on students at all times.”

Like Coleman, Hicks noted the importance to keep in mind that today’s students will compete in a global economy. She said that her experience with a diverse population of students lends itself to helping students realize that.

“I could tell you that being in a community that’s culturally rich, it’s very important for us to let our students know the world is much larger,” Hicks said.

Hicks also told the board that to help students prepare for the future, a vision must be established so the students have a target to shoot for.

“I think that’s the way that I lead,” she added.

To facilitate communication between herself and others, Hicks said she’d like to hold a meeting, open to parents and other members of the community. She said she currently holds a superintendent’s advisory council four times a year, and mentioned she’d like to continue a similar program in Ypsilanti.

“It’s important to always let parents know that my door is open,” Hicks said.

The board is scheduled to meet with Dr. Benjamin P. Edmondson, Dr. Sandra J. Harris and Dr. Theresa E. Saunders on Wednesday at Ypsilanti High School’s media center. Richard A. Weigel and Dedrick D. Martin are scheduled to interview with the board Thursday.

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