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Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Search continues for new executive director of Ann Arbor Public Schools educational foundation

By Danielle Arndt

It is unclear when the nearly $1.2 million endowment organization that raises private funds to support education at the Ann Arbor Public Schools will have a new executive director.


Former AAPS educational foundation Executive Director Wendy Correll

A search for someone to manage the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has been ongoing since September, when former Executive Director Wendy Correll stepped down.

A job posting on the foundation's website is open-ended, with no application deadline. Current board of directors Chairman Omari Rush said this was done by design.

"The reason we didn't put a deadline is we wanted to give ourselves some flexibility," he said. "We're just trying to be very open about who's out there and finding the best, most dynamic individual.

"We're still searching and hope to have someone identified fairly soon."

The position is full time and the job posting describes the salary and benefits package as "competitive" and says it will be commensurate with experience and perceived potential.

Correll was the non-profit organization's first executive director. It is unclear why she resigned. Correll was hired in 2006; and in 2007, the foundation experienced a "dramatic growth spurt," according to the job posting.

The foundation's board of directors believes the organization is poised to make yet another leap in growth. They are looking for a new leader with outstanding interpersonal skills and a strong affinity for and comfort with major gift fundraising to join the board and its volunteer network to achieve this desired growth, the posting says.

The foundation has begun to screen candidates who are in various stages of the application process, Rush said. The posting indicates all resumes and cover letters should be emailed to Rush at with "Executive Director Search" in the subject line.

"I've been saying our goal is the beginning of February (to have a new hire identified), but we certainly are still accepting applications," Rush said.

The primary responsibility of the executive director is fundraising and external relations. Currently, the AAPS Educational Foundation is between major fundraising drives.

This past summer, after the organization's most recent initiative fell short of its target, Correll and the board of directors began re-evaluating the group's fundraising efforts.

The educational foundation's One Million Reasons Campaign wrapped up in July 2012, raising a total of about $795,000. When the campaign launched in 2010, the goal was $1 million in one year's time.

The first year generated $335,000 in donations, the most the foundation had ever raised in an annual period, so the board of directors extended the campaign in 2011, and again in 2012, to cumulatively try to reach the initial $1 million goal.

The campaign brought in about $300,000 in 2011, but this past year, it brought in $160,000.

Rush said the board will rely on its new executive director to develop the foundation's next fundraising push.

"We'll be looking for them to lead the way with something innovative," he said. "They'll receive guidance from the board of directors, but it'll be up to them in terms of how they want to lead the charge."

For fiscal year 2011, the most recent year for which data was immediately available, the AAPS education foundation tallied contributions of $426,088 in revenue and spent $371,333 on program services and $121,106 on administrative costs, according to its IRS form 990. It had $1.18 million in total assets and $291,401 in liabilities.

A phone call requesting the foundation's 2012 financial information was not returned Tuesday.

In November, the foundation awarded $115,000 in grants to the Ann Arbor Public Schools. A major portion of the money, $65,000, went toward the Argus IMRA Planetarium at Pioneer High School, $43,000 went toward middle school activities busing and $7,000 came earmarked from the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society for the purchase of software to help autistic students.

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



Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

That's an interesting job; go out and raise at least enough money to pay your salary and office expenses then give the rest to the schools????????????


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

Gee, 28% administrative expense on $426,088 revenue for 2011? And Correll's compensation was what exactly? It is not at all clear to me just what this foundation is trying to accomplish. It would seem to me there must be some civic minded, qualified individual right here in our own community (perhaps a grandparent even) who could take on such an undertaking and give it real meaning and vitality.

Joe Kidd

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 4:11 a.m.

My thoughts exactly. 28% on admin is high and the article does not break down compensation in those costs.

A Voice of Reason

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

I would love to know how much money this organization raised that was not already in the AAPS system. It seems like they were just grabbing (consolidating) endowment funds and Thrift Store money that was already in the system and taking a cut for their expenses. Sounds like change is needed!


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

And you are getting this info from where?? Where does it state that they are grabbing money already in the system? The article talks only of donations. Why trash something you know nothing about? This site seems to be a place to vent, but the venting seems awfully misdirected.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

I'm sorry, but I agree with 'Voice of reason'.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

No application deadline, but they've started interviews? I got it. So, you get an interview, and then another applicant pops up down the road, because there is no deadline.....and they want to interview the new applicant. So the first applicant is left hanging indefinitely, and this goes on and on. Constantly looking for someone who might be better isn't fair to any pool of job applicants. That is not how fair job searches work. Post a description. Post a deadline. Screen applicants who have applied by the deadline. Interview some of them and make an offer. Play by the rules.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

The process shows how important the position is to the organization.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Posting job openings? What a GREAT idea! I hope they hire squirrels, it would certainly fit into Pat Green's idea of diversity


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

The Foundation has nothing to do with AAPS; it is a private nonprofit trying to raise money for the schools so that it can fund projects that AAPS cannot.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

I certainly hope that this is a non-paid position. Why can't people volunteer their time? Why do all these positions seem to have large salaries and long contracts? That's why I'd never consider giving them a penny. It just goes to slaries instead of benefits.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

They have lots of volunteers, but running a nonprofit is a professional, paid position. Of course, you could always volunteer your 50-60 hours a week, assuming you have significant fund-raising and budget skills and just happen to be jobless and looking to work for free.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

What is the salary of the out-going executive director. No mention of this is made in the news story.