Ann Arbor schools hires Utica principal to replace Joyce Hunter
Robyne Thompson will have big shoes to fill.
The Ann Arbor Board of Education approved hiring Thompson, a middle school principal from Utica Community Schools near Sterling Heights in Macomb County, to be the next assistant superintendent of secondary education Wednesday.
Current Assistant Superintendent Joyce Hunter, who has been with the district for 37 years, is retiring at the end of June. Hunter has been widely praised for her dedication to the district and her community involvement.
Thompson was hired at a salary of $122,399, the top of the pay scale for that position, according to a job posting on the Washtenaw Area Schools Consortium website. The amount is the same currently paid to Hunter.
Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green said the administration went through "three layers of an interview process” to vet Thompson and her qualifications before offering her the position. AAPS spokeswoman Liz Margolis has said the district generally does not comment on the number of applications it receives.
Thompson’s was the only name brought before the board Wednesday. Green said Thompson is taking a pay cut to come to Ann Arbor Public Schools.
In addition to serving as the principal of Jeannette Junior High School in Utica, Thompson also was previously a high school teacher, Green said.
She said Thompson received a bachelor’s degree, majoring in business administration, and a master’s degree, majoring in higher education and business, from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She received her teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University and her Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Oakland University.
Thompson’s contract will begin July 2 and expire June 30, 2014. Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and Legal Services Dave Comsa said the two-year agreement is standard. At the one-year mark, if a notice of nonrenewal is not issued, the contract automatically rolls over for the next school year, he said.
Per the contract approved by the board Wednesday, Thompson will be locked into her salary for those two years, unless the board directs administrators to negotiate a new contract with her, Comsa said.