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Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Ann Arbor superintendent's resignation shocks school district

By Danielle Arndt


Superintendent Patricia Green reads "Pajamas Anytime" to students of Logan Elementary School in this 2011 file photo.

Jeff Sainlar I file photo

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The news of Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green's resignation spread quickly throughout the district Thursday evening with staff, parents and the community echoing the response from school board members: utter surprise.

"I got the email right away and had barely started reading the letters before text messages immediately started flying in and my phone started ringing off the hook," said Maureen Frost, a parent at Pioneer High School.

District Communications Director Liz Margolis sent an email to AAPS staff, parents and community members about 5 p.m. Thursday with two letters attached, one from Green and the other from Board of Education President Deb Mexicotte, both announcing the superintendent's departure 90 days from Wednesday, April 10. Margolis' email simply asked the email recipients to please read the important messages attached.

In her letter, Green wrote she will be retiring after 43 years in public education.

Donna Lasinski, chairwoman of the district-wide Parent-Teacher-Organization Council, was at a soccer game for one of her children when news of the superintendent's departure was breaking. She said at half time she went to her car to check her phone and found it flooded with text messages, voicemails and missed calls from fellow parents.

Lasinski said Green meets with the PTOC executive board once a month and the most recent gathering was April 9, yet Lasinksi received no clues from either Green or her staff that the superintendent was making plans to leave.

"It"s a complete surprise," Lasinski said. "This was not something that was even on my radar — at all."

Ann Arbor Education Association president Linda Carter echoed Lasinski's surprise. She said she didn't see it coming, but wished the superintendent good health and happiness in her retirement years.


Linda Carter

When asked to evaluate Green's time in the district, Carter said, "I'm not going to go there."

The union leader was critical of Green in February for the superintendent's lack of visibility in school buildings and for what she saw as an unwillingness to communicate with teachers and to listen to their concerns. Carter also called for Green to voluntarily reduce her $245,000 salary.

Green's salary, her communication skills and level of transparency have been hotly debated throughout the past year or so of her 21-month tenure at the Ann Arbor Public Schools. The public and staff members have criticized her top-down leadership style, how much money she makes and her statement that parents and even board members should submit Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain data and information.

The community also questioned Green's work ethic, whether she worked a four-day week, her request for raises for two deputy superintendents in December 2011 and whether having a residence in another state showed she was committed to the district.

Despite Ann Arbor's reputation as being one of the top school districts in the state, the superintendent's position has seen considerable turnover recently. Carter said Green is the 12th superintendent she has worked with during her 38 years as an educator in the Ann Arbor district.

When the Board of Education chose Green as the district's next superintendent in March of 2011, Green assured trustees: "I intend to be around a long time and I'm delighted to have that opportunity." She also signed a five-year contract.

Green's reasons for deciding to retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year are not known. Several attempts to reach Green for comment were unsuccessful.

Former teachers union president and current Forsythe Middle School teacher Brit Satchwell said to some extent, he thinks the school board "doomed" Green, setting her up for failure right from the start.

"Because of that pay raise they put in place before she even took the job — that put her at a disadvantage," he said. "To give a pay raise to a superintendent to be named at a later date in the middle of such a financial crisis didn't go down well when it happened and still isn't going down well."

The previous superintendent, Todd Roberts, earned $188,000 at AAPS when he left the district. Roberts resigned in August 2010 to take a position at a school with about 650 students where he is making $210,000. Retaining good people was one of the reasons the board gave for increasing the salary of the superintendent's position.

Satchwell said the high salary led the community to set very high expectations for the incoming superintendent.

"Now the district is in a tricky spot," Satchwell added. "Do they offer that much to her replacement? Or are they going to lower it?"


Brit Satchwell

Satchwell said he wishes Green well in her retirement, adding she joined the district during a difficult time so he "doesn't want to judge too harshly."

He said he wished the district would have hired a "revolutionary superintendent who would push for visionary change" several superintendents ago and maybe the district would not still find itself in a financial crisis.

"I think it was her (Green's) honest and sincere intentions to stay. … Then reality happened," he said. "Maybe she didn't fully appreciate what she was walking into."

Lasinski said because she believes Green wasn't able to finish what she started, it's too soon to evaluate Green's time in Ann Arbor.

"I think Dr. Green tackled a lot of issues head on. She was put into a position where the majority of the administrative staff had turned over and there's been decreased funding at the state level ... and I think she she walked straight into the headwinds," Lasinski said. "I am disappointed she's leaving right now. ... A lot of the systems she was putting into place are just beginning to show some success. Change is very hard. ... Before we have a chance to see if the changes she did make are working, it's too early for us to judge whether it was a successful tenure or not."

Lasinski said the next three months are going to be very difficult for the district with the tough budget decisions that need to be made. The most recent projection is AAPS will need to cut $8.67 million from its operations for the 2013-14 academic year. Lasinski said, "the rubber is meeting the road right now" and the cuts this year are pitting program against program, school against school, internal staff member against internal staff member, with everyone out to protect only what's "nearest and dearest" to their hearts.

Frost was concerned that now a lame-duck superintendent will be leading the district through the cuts, but she said the idea of yet another new superintendent doesn't worry her too much.

She said Green's departure could be a way to "start over."

"I guess I'm reflecting on people I'm friends with, but I feel like the community would be supportive of a refreshing change, if it gets a good candidate," Frost said. "I guess I feel like, OK, maybe this time we can get our priorities straight and look at administration cuts and listen to the community and maybe we could replace her with somebody who doesn't have to be at that ($245,000) price tag.

"… I think we really have to look at what our priorities are and maybe it shouldn't be the achievement and discipline gap when we're in a financial crisis. I don't want to blame her, because the board could be directing her, but maybe this is just … an opportunity to make it right."

Frost hopes the school board has learned from this hiring to "look locally and internally," she said, adding she hopes AAPS can find someone who really understands the community, is familiar with it and committed to it.

Carter said the Ann Arbor Education Association is open for discussions with AAPS leadership as the district develops a plan to move forward and hire a new superintendent.

"We have a lot of history that we can start to share as they start to take a look at next steps," she said.

As the district chooses a new superintendent, Carter said it's important to find someone who can connect with the community.

"This is a very interesting community," she said. "It's so important to be able to connect with all facets of the community. We need to take our time with the process."

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Cendra Lynn

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 4:49 a.m.

To say parents don't know anything about education, and then comparing that to open heart surgery, reveals only ignorance. Parents are the people most likely to know how their children learn.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Stop saying "retired", she quit.

music to my ear

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

hit the nail on the head,

Slim Jim

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:25 a.m.

I don't blame her for leaving. She probably had enough of the micro-managing by every group who feels entitles to do so, from parents, teachers, board, administrators, etc. over the 21 months that she was in Ann Arbor. Over the years I have read and heard only constant criticism of each and every superintendent who had the nerve to think they could make a difference. I can't imagine that anyone will ever be given a fair chance in the AAPS system.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Perhaps the Supe can take WCC's president with her?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:30 p.m.

May I suggest Dr. Benjamin Edmondson for Superintendent!! He was principal at Scarlett Middle School when my son attended and we will never forget him! He is amazing, cares about the kids in this community and just look at what he has done over at Roberto... I'm not sure what type of credentials you need to be successful at this position but he has my vote!

Debbie Harris

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

@ Piper...Not Sure What "Greater Community" You Are Referring To Regarding Dr Edmondson's Reputation? I Know That There Is A Very Large Contingency Of Aaps Staff, Parents And People In The Community Already Approaching Him To PLEASE Apply For This Position. He Is A Nationally Recognized Leader In Education, And To Those Who May Not "Like" His Approach, I Question Their Views. His Leadership And Vision Is Always Based On What Best Serves STUDENTS. His Experience And Success, Along With His Credentials (He Is Certified To Be A Superintendent Nationwide), He Is Invested In This Community, He Has Two Children Attending Aaps, And Has Tremendous Community support And Respect....This Makes Him An Ideal Candidate For This Job. I'm Quite Sure You Will See Our "small World" Coming Forward In Support Of Him To lead This District.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

Sorry, he does not have the reputation out there in the community, maybe in your small world, but not the greater community!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Her contract can be found here. Public Record.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Guess that 4 day work week didn't work out for her....... Anyone who tries to maintain a split life, maintaining 2 "homes" in different states with a spouse living elsewhere is doomed over the long run. It just doesn't work for the long haul. From a financial point of view, maintaining 2 households and 2 homes is a big drain on finances. From a personal point of view, flying to MD or having hubby fly to MI is also costly and draining, regardless of how much $$ they made together. Approaching retirement with those kinds of extra expenses does not make sense. The split living situation with MD is probably why she was able to lobby and get a much higher salary than her predecessor. Why should the taxpayers of AA finance that kind of lifestyle? AAPS never should have hired someone who was not willing to fully commit to the AA community and instead trying to live in 2 different states with a part-time schedule (4 day work week). She milked the system.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Couldn't stand the heat?Couldn't do the job?a combination of both i suspect. Ann Arbor is tough on educators and there's nothing wrong with that.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:24 p.m.

Tough? I don't think so!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Actually, the superintendents resignation doesn't shock me. Put someone competent in administration and on the BOE- now that would shock me. A well run school district in AA- that would shock me too. Can't wait until my kids are out of school here!

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

I am with you, so glad when my kids were done with this district!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

This link provides the salaries for all the districts in the State of Michigan. It ranks them by total compensation (salary plus benefits). AA shows up as eighth on the list.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

This is good news but we're still left with our incompentent Board of Education. They're the ones who hired her and decided to inflate her salary. They all need to resign especially Deb Mexicotte. I'm tired of hearing "we need to pay big bucks in order to get good people." That attitude is destroying our country. We have an abundance of talent here in Michigan. Our economy is in the tank and will never be what it was in the 90s. The BoE needs to stop taking Ann Arbor taxpayers for granted and hire a good person who is truly committed to Ann Arbor students.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

A very weak candidate challenged Mexicotte in the last election. Viable BoE candidates are difficult to attract, maybe you'd like to volunteer?

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

I voted against Ms. Mexicotte for exactly the reasons you mention, all apparent in November. But in spite of her continued inability to run a meeting, she won reelection and the board reappointed her as president. The community needs to elect a good board of education who understand their duties.

David Cahill

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

I suspected big trouble when the Board felt it necessary to pass that "boardmanship" resolution. Looks like the trouble was bigger than I thought.

Stephen Landes

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Time for all the members of the School Board to resign. They have presided over an epic failure for years in terms of managing the district. Fortunately the teachers and students have done well despite the best efforts of the Board to screw up everything with programs for one group or another, out of whack administrative salaries, and their foray into the legal system in trying to persuade our prosecutor to not prosecute an assault.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

Hell will freeze over before this ever happens, unfortunately. I believe and agree with others that all board members should quit.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Despite all the negative issues that have surfaced during her tenure, there are many changes that Dr. Green initiated that have had a positive effect on the school district. I hope the school board will bring in a much younger person at a lower salary with an open mind to finding ways to become more efficient. There is room for improvement while not impacting the teachers.

Lets Get Real

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

"Dr. Green has been an active member of our community"? Are you kidding? She never committed to this community. She kept her home in Maryland, her husband kept his business there, and the community involvement listed in the article is represents resume building, in absetnia board positions where committment and contribution was minimal. Don't kid yourself, she always had a foot "back home." She worked four-day weeks so she could go "home"; she flew in her husband for representative social events; and hired high paid assistants to do the real work. Makes a really good case for giving an internal candidate or hometown success story a chance. Not vested, not staying. The heat in the kitchen - challelnging budgets, personnel resignation, and staff defection - were way above her ability (but not above her pay grade). This was a terrible hire. She talked a good game but couldn't execute. This faux paux falls squarely on the backs of the Board of Education and is evidence that throwing money at something or someone does not solve problems. I certainly hope she didn't have a "golden parachute" departure clause that pays her for leaving, but I wouldn't be surprised. Retiring? Probably not. Especially with the glowing recommendation letter she has for her portfolio from Mexicotte. Voters - the next move is yours. Replace this group with people who have a genuine interest in Ann Arbor's educational system. What we have not leadership. Look to proven leaders in our community who recognize the impact this has on the economic climate, the housing market, property values, and Ann Arbor's reputation. We can pretend to be the best, but talk to people elsewhere: we're seen as arrogant, snooty, pretenders. We pretended that this "wanna be" was the messiah of education. What we got was someone who could finish the job and so all we are left with is the mess.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

We, of course, can expect to see your name on the ballot? Of course we can.

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

She was paid an awful lot for not having a doctorate. She was unqualified to lead a district like Ann Arbor.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

1) She has a doctorate. 2) What does that have to do with running a business with a budget in excess of $100 million

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Effete snob.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Elijah, she does have a Ph. D.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

Read this sentence from her employment contract: "The District retains the sole right and discretion to adjust the base salary of the Superintendent during the term of this Contract; provided, however, the District will not decrease the Superintendent's base annual salary during the term of this Contract." The Board could NOT give her a pay cut!!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Speaking as a retired A2 teacher, a school superintendent was the least concern of my former students. Most never knew there was a superintendent let alone who the superintendent was. During my 40 year career as an Ann Arbor teacher, the only time I ever spoke with a superintendent was during my retirement dinner at the end of my career. How important is a superintendent? At $245,000 salary how can any person work hard enough to earn that amount of money? The most valuable asset to any school system is a well trained and experienced teacher who turns lives around. Why not pay them this amount! Another observation is that none of the home grown staff in the Ann Arbor Schools never seem good enough to be promoted to a superintendent position. Only people who live a distance away are viewed as qualified to lead the district. Saline has a home grown superintendent, and he has and will continue to stay in the position thus benefitting the stability of the school district.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

If only all teachers were as qualified as you claim them to be they truly would be the most valuable asset to our school system and what a wonderful world it would be. The fact that you assume that all teachers by definition are great makes me suspect your judgment and critical thinking skills. Just how much does your union teach you about budgeting techniques that ensure that the students get all they need and don't get shortchanged? When it comes to the budget I think teachers look out for teachers and the kids get what's left over. That's where the superintendent comes in to make everyone play fair. Apparently Dr. Green did not think this was possible and from what I have seen, it probably was a losing battle. Let someone else try - no doubt it will turn out the same. Not enough money and everyone bickering and the kids getting the shaft.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

"Another observation is that none of the home grown staff in the Ann Arbor Schools never seem good enough to be promoted to a superintendent position. Only people who live a distance away are viewed as qualified to lead the district." I have two words for you: Todd Roberts.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

"Green assured trustees: "I intend to be around a long time and I'm delighted to have that opportunity." She also signed a five-year contract." Nice, typical behavior these days, just tell people what they want to here. A lot of money was spent on a high powered out on state "head hunter" to find an out of state Green as our superintendent. We paid a quarter of a million dollars a year to have the absolutely best possible superintendent. It didn't work, we have a huge budget deficit and district is a mess, Green is incompetent. We should seek a refund from the "head hunters". This time chose a superintendant from within our district, someone who lives here and wants to work here instead of someone seeking the highest possible salary.

A A Resident

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Don't you know? People from somewhere else are always better. (wink)


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Given the way Lansing seems determined to destroy the public education system, I don't blame her for retiring. Anyone with a lick of sense will get out of education as soon as they possibly can. Unfortunately, all that will leave for our kids are people without a lick of sense.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

It is time to find a superintendent from within the district with long time commitment to the area who attended A2 schools and has children in the system. Stop looking for a national visionary and find someone who is dedicated to serving the children within a tight budget. It's about teaching and learning not buildings and special programs.

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

You mention that she lived in "another state". Where did she live while in her Ann Arbor position?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

She lived here Elaine. Bought a house and everything. Her husband lives in Maryland, and each one would travel approx 1 weekend in 3 to be with the other. They've apparently done this for a number of years.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

maybe I misinterpreted your question. I didn't mean she lives in Maryland while working here. I meant she still has a spouse in Maryland and that is why she flew back and forth.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

I believe Maryland. If memory serves me her husband is a dentist or some such thing and didn't want to leave his practice. I always felt that fact might limit her stay here.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

The way the state is jerking around K-12 school districts the last few years, I'm surprised anyone would want a superintendent's job. It's nothing but grief, cutting programs, cutting people, being subjected to constant criticism, etc. I don't blame her either. Best of luck to her in her retirement.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

I work in the District and I'm sorry but all people need to stop judging! The issues of education are not the Superintended fault, it starts with those that run the State and all that has been taken from school Districts! Ann Arbor is not the only District that is going through difficult times. Stop and look at the whole picture!

A A Resident

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Hope they can do a better job of hiring someone with tenacity next time. Of course, if this was more of a "forced resignation" perhaps that wouldn't apply. In that case, I hope they can do a better job of hiring someone who was right in the first place. Another possibility: Is Ann Arbor getting a reputation as a place where one can work for a short time, and then retire with benefits and pension? With these benefits possibly stacked on top of those from a previous retirement? Retirement looks it can be quite profitable!

Chester Drawers

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

It has been noted above: A public school employee in Michigan cannot receive a pension unless s/he has worked at least 10 years. So the only way a person can retire with a pension after working for a short time in AA is if that person has worked elsewhere in Michigan, for a total of at least 10 years. Health benefits in retirement are administered through the pensions system; premiums are deducted from ones pension payment.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:08 a.m.

I wonder if this is one of those "retirements" we occasionally read about where pretty soon the retiree is doing the same thing somewhere else? Just a curiosity question folks...nothing more.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

your so right sir. ;)


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Or doing the same thing two somewhere elses at the same time. There is precedent.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Don't replace her! She had assistants doing all her work anyway. Everyone else just pick up the slack. Give all her assistants a pay raise. Everyone happy, including the tax payers.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:57 a.m.

Some people are simply unable to take criticism.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

DR. Roberts was a great superintendent, was very visible at the schools and interacted great with the staff. Sorry, he had to leave to go back to his home state. Ms. Green came on board with a negative because in my opinion, the BOE decided to jack the salary up extremely high at a time when everyone was taking a pay cut or having their hours cut. Then she hires an employee that she was not supposed to at a very high salary thus causing the BOE to approve higher salaries for another admin. Sorry, just does not fly. I say take a good hard look at who we have in the community, pay them a reasonable salary (no paying some consultant a huge amount) and hire he or she.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:35 a.m., can you please confirm that the woman will not be leaving with any form of pension, retirement, or continuous pay above and beyond the partial year's pay. She's not leaving with more money than her salary for the time worked, right? She didn't work long enough to be vested in any kind of bonus/retirement/pension plan, did she? Can we get an answer to this?

Paula Gardner

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Working on that today. Some of our top questions, too.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:28 a.m.

The expensive house of cards is finally beginning to tumble. Hopefully they won't continue to push the envelope in terms of high pay for another one. Time to trim some fat and enforce fiscal responsibility at AAPS. Enough about the achievement gap you've been "working on" for 30 years. I'm guessing part of the reason nthings like this can happen is that Ann Arbor looks like a soft touch to everyone working in the public sector. Want to make craploads of money for little work and not for very long? Ann Arbor's still spending like nobody's business, they're one of the last ones left doing it. By the way, the Ann Arbor District Library is using $28,000 of your money (the maximum allowed without a board vote) to hire a PR Rep/Image Consultant. One who's been in the news for preying on small local districts. Remember to thank them for the honest use of your money next vote.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

To RU: Thanks for the info on the upcoming PR-Image hire. I bet it has to do the failed new building approval in the last election. So, if they hire a so-called expert ($28,000?), they can polish (manipulate) the library image to get voters to approve that new building in an election coming to AA one day....probably during one of those slippery elections held in a month (not Nov) so there is lower turnout that can be manipulated (big PR campaign to get out people to vote who are in favor of a new building). I knew they would not accept the decision of the electorate on that failed new building project.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

Philly: The Chronicle has outstanding (sometimes frustratingly unbiased, because some of the stuff is just enraging) coverage of council/board/committee meetings. I heartily encourage everyone who comes to to supplement their intake of AA info with the Chronicle's (or vice versa).


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Can you give more details about the AADL's consultant?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:39 a.m.

Ms. Green leaving is a positive for AA. As to her salary and her replacement - the job should pay a reasonable and competitive wage. The BOE has shown that not only can't they get along with each other, but they lack the skills to identify, interview and hire a good and competent superintendent. Their track record speaks for itself. I am not optimistic that her replacement will be any better. Maybe her board will all leave, as well as all of Balas. Then, the new leader of this group will have a clean slate to build a team to help the teachers lead our education system. It is very evident that Ms. Green could not lead our team,. nor can the BOE. Go figure!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:25 a.m.

I agree with you, Goob but I have no faith that the school board will or can hire a viable replacement. They will throw thousands of dollars at a consultant who will bring us a poor slate of candidates. Interesting that consultants will charge thousands for running a CareerBuilder ad. As you say - go figure!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 6:44 a.m.

Why we we go on through these ridiculous, costly hunts through the nation for these un to none Superintendents ? What a big waste of 14 different out of state nothing ,when we have employees that have gone way beyond the call of there jobs that could better facilitate the needs of our children! We have Liz Margolis she been there 38 plus ??? We have Chad Downs a teacher fully capable in all capacities we have many teachers that have chosen this route because there administrative skills could not utilized within the district . .These people are well if not over qualified and know our community our children. Take a look at when Ann Arbor Police finally hired within Detective Seto aka ; Now the Cheif /crime down. So stop wasting money on these wanna be searches and hire from within and look at all that were under your nose all along / Its time Ann Arbor has a new beginning hire within and become exceptional.PS I as a parent was not notified in any means .


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

I'm sorry, Lisa. I could make almost no sense of your post. I have to agree with J.A., Liz has no ability for a position of this type. And, she has not been with AAPS for 38 years. She has been with the district less than ten years. As for placing a teacher straight into the role of Superintendent, I think in most cases this would be disastrous. This is not meant as any sort of slight to the teachers. Being a Superintendent requires additional skill sets that are not part of teaching.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

Liz Margolis has NO capabilities for this job, she is a glorifies public announcer for the district, that's all!

Scott Reed

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:15 a.m.

Maybe the next person for the job should be paid something in the LOW six-figures. That's still an enviable salary - I bet there are plenty of competent, motivated people who would be happy to take the job at that rate. Much higher than that, and we might just end up with a highly-paid mercenary.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:41 a.m.

All they have to do is run an ad in The results will blow their socks off!

Dog Guy

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

With keen insight, broad vision, a sense of humor/proportion, and precise brevity, Brit Satchwell reminds me why I miss him as AAEA president, but I still can't understand how he ever was elected .

Stuart Brown

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

Good news! Cut the pay back to what it was and hire a dedicated, loyal insider who has spent years working in the district. Let's give that a try. This board has a grass is greener over there mentality.

Stuart Brown

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

johnnya2, Hiring from outside worked out well with Dr. Green, right? Wrong, what you get with an outsider is a mercenary with no ties to the community. AAPS has budget problems, they need someone who is well respected to bring all of the stakeholders together to cobble a viable deal. You can't buy respect from the outside.

Chester Drawers

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

I usually think that promoting from within is a good thing for an organization. However, in the case of the AAPS, there is NO ONE currently in administration who has the professional experience or the institutional knowledge to lead the district.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:22 a.m.

Ok, tell us who this dynamic cheap leader is WITHIN the district since YOU seem to know so much. Of course, if such a person existed why hasn't another district come knocking on their door looking for them? Also, hiring from OUTSIDE is a good thing. Fresh, innovative thinking is the hallmark of well run organizations. I would prefer to see somebody who has seen things work in different places, rather than having spent 20 years seeing what happens here and then saying, well that's the way its always been done.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

It was Time for her to go! Not a good fit for AAPS! What? Do we want a Drill Sergeant? Let Patty go and write her book. Hopefully she will recognize her long-since discardet faults and not apply for another Super job! More's the pity. Thanx to the School Board for saying "Bye-Bye" to Patty. (Geeze! Talk about mid-20th Century management applications!).


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

A Drill Sergeant is exactly what AAPS needs!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

So this one lasts about 2 years and the last 2 supers lasted 3 years each? I might be wrong on the last 2 supers, but they had short tenures as I recall. Someone else can chime in with details on how long the last 2 supers lasted. I will say this: AAPS is a very tough district to run, given the "involved" parent community (involvement is a good thing, but some AA parents are over the top on involvement), given the budget cuts coming and the state giving less and less to schools into the future, and the mushrooming class sizes. The classes are just too large, and the district keeps chopping the teacher positions and the aide positions, making an unsustainable situation not in the best interests of students. AAPS also suffers from being in a community where 60% or more of the real estate in the city isn't taxed, which limits the tax dollars available for the schools. Green's salary didn't help here either, as it was too high relative to the past supers and too high for the financial situation the district is in. Cutting positions, cutting transportation and cutting budgets at a time while she made the big bucks just doesn't work. Also, the wide range of schools in the district, from excellent to mediocre to weak is unusual. Most districts are more consistent across their schools, but AAPS has wide gaps among district buildings in terms of facilities, staff and enrollments. This makes decisions about budget cuts more than challenging. There also needs to be a much stronger evaluation system instituted so weak and underperforming teachers (and principals) can be terminated, regardless of their length of service. AAPS has some tough issues to face, and unless these are remedied, the continued revolving door at the super level will continue.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:19 a.m.

Propeerty tax dollars are not the issue. AA has a MUCh higher than average property tax base That property that you say is untaxed also does not have too many students for the AAPS. The fact is, when Prop A passed and RAISED the sales tax by 50% and changed the entire funding model for districts like AA The 50% sales tax was Constitutionally supposed to go toward K-12 education ONLY. As was ALL proceeds from lottery. In 2011 the Operating profit for the lottery was over $741 million. The extra 50% sales tax amounted to around 2.614 BILLION. Insted of increasing education spending by that much, what has happend is the state has reduced spending on education from non-mandatory funds, and said well we are meeting our constitutional requirements. THIS is the exact reasons there needs to be "buckets". This allows people to have the money distributed in the way that the people who voted for it INTENDED. It is a classic bait and switch move.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

was a pay cut really too much to bear?

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3 p.m.

I think she was in a tough situation if she did not "volunteer" to take a pay cut. She probably believes she is worth every penny, and might as well retire if she can't get what she is due.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Read this sentence from her employment contract: "The District retains the sole right and discretion to adjust the base salary of the Superintendent during the term of this Contract; provided, however, the District will not decrease the Superintendent's base annual salary during the term of this Contract." The Board could NOT give her a pay cut!!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Oh, yeah. she's taking her toys and going home.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

Time to give Rossi Ray-Taylor another shot at a comeback...

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Dr. Taylor saw the truth, and she still has an office in town. I hope they talk to her.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

Rossi Ray-Taylor was "let go" because she would not support building a 3rd comprehensive high school (Skyline).


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

Somebody cue "Yakity Sax"....


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Or, "Hit the Road, Jack".......


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Don't blame her a bit . . . subjected to micro-idiocy by the masses. Good luck to her.

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

@Bill, the misinformation was true. She did not live here.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Why any superintendent would want to work in AAPS is surprising considering the misinformation that is spread about where they live and how much time they spend working.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:21 a.m.

She proved that she was arrogant and really worthless to the rest of the education group.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:44 a.m.

She never moved here. She really never intended to stay. She took the money for this short period of time and ran. What a shame! I feel for the AA team. Maybe the BOE will do a better job this time finding a true leader for our team.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

I was at the board meeting when they interviewed her and another candidate. She was a competent candidate and had good vision. My son, who is student in the district, also had some personal interactions with her and really liked her. We are sad to see her go. Maybe one day, the real reason why she chose to step down early will surface. It is a difficult time financially for the district. Unfortunately AAPS, unlike our federal government, cannot operate under a deficit. Something has to go. No matter what she do, some one will be unhappy. Hey, we were pissed when they stopped the bus between Huron and Community. Good bye and good luck, Dr. Green.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

"It"s a complete surprise," Lasinski said. "This was not something that was even on my radar — at all." Seriously? Wasn't on your "radar". After 43 years, it never occurred to you that she might want to retire sometime soon? that explains a lot.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

Absolutely NO integrity on her part. Or the board for that matter!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

The Ann Arbor Public Schools deserves to have its next leader selected by a committee of genuine stakeholders. Instead of relying on a headhunting firm to help spin-doctor the school board through a disastrous round of finding another 20-month disaster, we should trust the folks who know our schools best: parents, principals, teachers, and students. Each of these expert constituencies should be part of the search and hiring process for our next superintendent, and each group should get a vote equal to that of the school board. This group could do no worse than the school board deciding on its own behind closed doors, and they could potentially do a lot better. We need some good old fashioned democracy!

Slim Jim

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:34 a.m.

@ music - AAPS would chew him up and spit him out! He's a great guy, but small town is a better venue for him.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

I like how you put students last... like an afterthought. Just saying.

music to my ear

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

go get david raft from saline schools you would all be happy, he has a lots of spunk, the kids love him yet they respect him, he is a little younger but lots of experience he is into health alot and I believe it would be a great fit for a2 schools.

Silly Sally

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

You left out the taxpayer who foots the bill. Little Billy or Mary the 4th grader does not know what a super does. It was this dreaming w/o cost constraints that caused the budget problem. "Oh, pass another millage"

Jay Thomas

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

The way it is done now certainly leaves something to be desired.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4 a.m.

This is the exact opposite of what should happen. Why should a parent be involved in making decisions on things they know nothing about. I wonder, when you are looking to hire a doctor, do you go to prospective patients to ask them, hey what do you think of Dr Jones and how he does a heart transplant. The parents know NOTHING about education. They are not experts in the field at any level. Having students involved is just plain silly. If we went by that model only "popular" teachers would be teaching, and there would never be tests or homework. The fact is, there has been too much input from people who think they know how to run a school district. They are only interested in their own selfish special interests.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:20 a.m.

I'm not surprised at all, so I don't know why the board is playing coy. She's come under intense criticism, she has a huge deficit to deal with, her true home is elsewhere, and she no doubt is getting a nice big retirement fund from multiple districts. Why she was ever hired is the real question. Let's get someone with enthusiasm for the job for once.

Silly Sally

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

Why was she even hired to begin with? A good question. The tip off was that she always lived in Maryland and did not consider Ann Arbor or even Michigan her home. She was a carpetbagger in reverse.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Totally agree CLX. When (IF) someone who is dedicated gets hired, maybe things will improve. Perhaps an over haul of the board is in order, if they are really "shocked".


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:19 a.m.

I too would like to know how big a parachute ( golden of course ) she'll float away on...


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Jealousy rears its ugly head.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

She quit, there is no parachute. If the BOE had fired her the story would have been different. The contract is attached to one of the other 999 articles on this that AnnArbor.Com is using to amp up page views.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

"Lasinski said because she believes Green wasn't able to finish what she started, it's too soon to evaluate Green's time in Ann Arbor." Read Mexicotte's long letter of praise. It's long and well thought out -- so I doubt this was unexpected. Also, (based on that letter) it looks like Mexicotte has already evaluated Green.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

A2 School District must be a horrible place to administer...they go through superintendents like water.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

Um. Music to my ears. Your reply was so garbled, I have no idea what you are trying to say.

music to my ear

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

go navy let me just say I too am and was a helicopter mom it is good to see parents involved but I will tell you I hurt my kids that way it made them less independent I was a stay at home mom who had the time to micro manage everything my kids did ,but I will tell you the kids who had to go to daycare, and after school programs who did not have their parents to do everything for them including think, did much better in adult hood,and that I have witnessed. then I got a job at the school and learned how the teachers complained a little about moms like me how the parents need to back off and let kids figure things out for is too late for me and mine. but not younger parents.and that I AM REALLY TRYING TO SAY.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Ya...crazy parents, wanting the best for their children and all. But wait - I thought the reason we see poor academic outcomes was because parents don't care? Hmm.

music to my ear

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

that is because of all the helicopter parents, I am just sayin.

zip the cat

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:08 a.m.

So what kind of fat retirement does she get from aaps.?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11 a.m.

You must have at least 10 yrs in the Michigan retirement system to get a state pension.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

I don't blame her for retiring. Thanks to the state, all school districts are in a financial mess. Good luck in her retirement. By the way, I think Britt is spot on with his analysis.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

So much for upholding ones commitment to others.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

Ha - ha! Satchwell: "Then reality happened," he said. "Maybe she didn't fully appreciate what she was walking into." Well Satch, she sure knows enough to walk right out. The Libs in A2 can't even agree that the sun comes up in the eastern sky. Of course, being a Lib, League, it is the state's fault.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

Yes, it's the state that put us in a mess, not the hundreds of thousands of dollars on achievement gap consultants.