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

Ypsi Schools' superintendent search ends in draw

Neither East St. Louis District 189 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Saunders, left, or Ypsilanti Assistant Superintendent Richard Weigel, right, were chosen by the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday night. Photo by James Cavanaugh

Neither East St. Louis District 189 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Saunders, left, or Ypsilanti Assistant Superintendent Richard Weigel, right, were chosen by the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday night.
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Fanta casts no vote, resulting in tie

By James Cavanaugh
May. 20, 2009    ·    11:09 a.m.


After a process that started nearly four months ago, the Ypsilanti Board of Education’s superintendent search ended Tuesday night with no candidate chosen.

Although no official vote was taken, each board member expressed his or her preference during deliberations.

Trustees Kira Berman, Sarah Devaney and Board President David Bates voiced their support for Ypsilanti’s Assistant Superintendent Richard Weigel. Trustees Floyd Brumfield, Edward Jackson and Vice president Linda Horne suggested they’d vote for East St. Louis District 189 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Saunders.

Trustee Andrew Fanta told the board he would not vote for either candidate. Noting that although none of the candidates “really knocked [his] socks off” after receiving applications in March, Fanta said he tried his best to participate in the selection process.

“I tried to be a good site team member,” Fanta said. “I remain proud of the process we went through.”

He later added that he thought both candidates had “deep flaws.”

With the exception of Fanta, all other trustees laid out their arguments for either candidate. Devaney said she went through the board’s candidate profile bullet point by bullet point and concluded that Weigel was the better candidate.

“Mr. Weigel was able to come into a situation years ago…where our grant and title monies were in a mess,” Devaney said. “He has given examples during his interviews of innovative ways he balanced the budget.”

Bates agreed with Devaney’s assessment of Weigel’s financial abilities. He also told the board he appreciated what Weigel has done for the district’s curriculum.

“The district was in disarray, instructionally,” Bates said, also referring to the past curriculum as a “train wreck.”

“When you look back over what’s happened, we have a structured program,” he added.

When talking about her support for Saunders, Horne said she was impressed by how students in East St. Louis spoke about their superintendent.

“The students were proud to talk about Dr. Saunders,” Horne said. “They mentioned they felt like a family in the high school.”

In a moment of levity, Jackson told the board that he’d been losing sleep during the last several nights due to the decision he’s had to make and because of “James Hawkins withdrawal.”

“Any reason I lean towards Saunders is because her functioning as a superintendent is as close to James Hawkins as we had,” Jackson added.

Several community members who attended the meeting voiced their disappointment over the fact that a superintendent was not chosen.

“I feel like you’ve abdicated your responsibility,” said Ypsilanti resident Mary Delcamp. “We’ve wasted time and we’ve wasted two good candidates.”

Joshua Chenier, a YPS alum and current substitute teacher, voiced his support for Weigel at the beginning of the meeting, but acknowledged the need for a candidate to have strong board support.

“I was definitely hoping for a decision to take place tonight,” Chenier said. “But I knew a deadlock was possible.”

It is still unclear exactly how the school board will move forward now that the current search has finished. Several trustees suggested that Dr. James Hawkins, the current superintendent, would be asked to stay on until they re-posted the position or until an interim could be found.

Dr. Michael Emlaw, of the Michigan Association of School Boards, who assisted in the search, said that although he’s never been through a superintendent search that ended without a candidate chosen, he acknowledged that it’s not totally uncommon. And when it does happen, the board typically takes a cooling-off period.

“It isn’t normally re-posted quickly,” Emlaw said. “It’s normally an extended period of time.”



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