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

Ypsilanti Schools to repost superintendent position

The Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday night to repost its superintendent spot, which was not filled after a stalemate by the board after the last process. Photo by Jim Cavanaugh

The Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday night to repost its superintendent spot, which was not filled after a stalemate by the board after the last process.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Board hopes to fill spot by September

By Jim Cavanaugh
Jun. 2, 2009    ·    10:54 a.m.


The Ypsilanti School Board voted 6-1 to repost its open superintendent position Monday night at a special meeting.

Last month, the board came to a stalemate on the choice of superintendent. Neither finalist, Richard Weigel, assistant superintendent of Ypsilanti Public Schools or Dr. Theresa Saunders, superintendent of East St. Louis District 189, were able to garner enough support to be named to the position.

A number of options surfaced as to how continue with the search process. One option the board considered was appointing an interim superintendent and reposting the position at some point in the future. Several board members initially supported this idea.

Trustee Andrew Fanta, the only board member who voted against reposting, indicated that he’d like to see an interim superintendent brought in.

“I think what we need to do, is we need to get an interim superintendent in here,” Fanta said. “I think that it is important for the board to say to an interim superintendent ‘these are the problems we need to deal with, now.’”

Trustee Kira Berman mentioned that she thought the community had been growing impatient with the board.

“I can certainly understand why,” she said.

Berman added that she felt the district would see leadership faster if they chose to appoint an interim and repost the search later, however, she ultimately sided with reposting.

Superintendent Dr. James Hawkins, who agreed to continue in the position until the end of the summer, told the board that reposting quickly was the best course of action.

“I think there’s sufficient time,” Hawkins said. “If a decision is made tonight, then the process can begin.”

“You need permanency, you need stability, you need someone with a vested interest,” he added.

Ultimately, a majority of the board sided with Hawkins.

Trustee Sarah Devaney expressed concern that the method for going through another round of superintendent candidates needed to be improved.

“I think the bottom line is we need a process and a clear one,” Devaney said. “I do to a certain extent feel we abdicated our responsibility.”

Members of the audience also voiced their opinion on how the board should move forward. Amy Doyle, who has two children in Ypsilanti schools, told the board that the district would lose time if it hired another interim. She also expressed dismay that the board was not able to come to a consensus after the first round of candidates.

“We needed action and we needed it yesterday,” Doyle said, addressing the board. “Please do what you can to salvage the situation.”

Keith Reed, of the Ypsilanti Support Services Association, suggested that the board consider hiring Weigel on an interim basis, and then possibly move him into the position, permanently.

“He does have stock and ownership in the district,” Reed said.

Dr. Michael Emlaw, of the Michigan Association of School Boards, the firm hired to assist with the superintendent search, said the board should be able to quickly repost the position and get started on the process. Despite the fact that no candidate was chosen the first time, the MASB will continue to assist the district with its search and at no extra charge.

“We’re committed to you in crossing the finish line,” Emlaw said.

The board plans to setup a retreat to further discuss how they’d like to continue the search process a second time around. Initial plans call for a new superintendent to be in place by September 1.

Related story:
Ypsi Schools' superintendent search ends in draw



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