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Posted on Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 5 p.m.

Ypsilanti-Willow Run merger exciting, exhausting to watch

By Guest Column

As a relatively recent graduate of the formally recognized Ypsilanti Public School District, observing the restructuring of the merged Ypsilanti Community School District is both exhilarating as well as exhausting.

Consolidating the school districts feasibly is responsible while the affects are disheartening for those who have invested their energy inspiring youth. Our youth deserve the opportunity to develop skills that are universal yet unique to their abilities.


Willow Run, left, and Ypsilanti high schools could be used differently if the new consolidated Ypsilanti Community Schools district decides on a small learning communities model of secondary education, rather than a comprehensive high school model.

Most participants engaged in the attempt to build a unified school district are envisioning coordinating resources that ensure our youth are empowered individuals interested in contributing to the better of Ypsilanti.

The primary focus of adults in our community should align with impressing the idea of championing the importance of exceptional programming, retaining brilliant educators and utilizing facilities in district to optimize our students educational experience.

I hope Ypsilanti enthusiast also commit to being innovative in their attempt to market the new school district to appeal to the needs of our residents. For the sake of our children let's continue to passionately preserve the heritage of Ypsilanti and honor each other's opinion.

I encourage those of interest to join an advisory committee to assist in defining what are the needs of Ypsilantians.

D’Real Graham is a graduate of the Ypsilanti Public School District and a resident of Ypsilanti.



Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Chase Ingersoll, There has been discord among many citizen groups and governing boards including AAPS and the school board. Do you compare them to Detroit? You prejudge an entire community with racial diversity as doomed to failure. You prejudge a person who is a member of a group representing workers as incapable of putting children first. You prejudge the teachers as all self interested, putting themselves before children. Every resident of the Ypsilanti Community School District should print Ingersoll's post above and post it as a reminder of the kind of thinking that holds this area back. Ypsilanti area, diversity is our STRENGTH not our weakness. Strong support of our workers is our STRENGTH not our weakness. Strong support of public education of our children is our strength not our weakness. "We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools." ? Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

I think the city of Detroit disproves the all of us are smarter than one of us quote. Quote from buddy at breakfast yesterday..he grew up on the east side...smartest people left. On balance it was dysfunctional and criminals that stayed. By election of a teacher's union member as president of the board, in place is a leader whose primary loyalty is to the maintenance of wages and benefits of union members, not fiscal responsibility or educational standards. And if he does not demonstrate that loyalty, they will find someone who does. The new district will lose more parents to charter and home schooling and will eventually be taken over by the state. They are too similar to Detroit, but just won't admit it and instead will parade a la the emperor who has no clothes.


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

Calling all Smart People in Ypsilanti City, Ypsilanti Twp and Superior Twp!!! Please Consider This: A Unified Police Dept and a Unified Fire Dept. State Law commends it. Yins can Make It Happen!!! Remember the Ypsilanti Motto: "All of Us are Smarter than Any of Us!!!"


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 5:25 a.m.

Thumbnail History of Ypsilanti D'Real. Here is what you are up against. 1. 19th Century History: Ypsilanti was settled by New Englanders (my kin). In the 1930's Ypsi City was more prosperous than Ann Arbor; the city had more Millionaires. 2. Mid-20th Century: WWII. Henry Ford built the Bomber Plant. 3. Appalachians people from Eastern Kentucky immigrated to Ypsilanti to work at the Bomber Plant; they settled in Ypsi Twp, south of the city. 4. African-Americans from the Deep South (Alabama and Mississippi) immigrated to Ypsilanti to work at the Bomber Plant; they settled in Willow Run, North-East of the city. 5. The New Englanders in Ypsi City Rejected the Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi people and the Van Buren Twp school district in Wayne County captured the Ypsi Twp tax base. More's the pity for racial discrimination. You have a plate of worms. Fix it!


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

Honesty sometimes hurts, but can often heal. You hit the nail on the head, Piney. There are a lot of "whys" in the possibility of YCS becoming a powerhouse school. But really the question should be "why not?"


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 5 a.m.

Hey Dudes! Let's keep this conversation going, even after it moves to Page 2, 3, etc of Or go to and ask him to put-up an Ypsi High School Sports Webpage. Steve lives on South Huron in Ypsi. My Idea: Ypsilanti to Dominate State of Michigan football and basketball! How to do that? Meld Willow Run High School "Flyers" athletes with Ypsilanti High School "Phoenix" athletes. New name: "Bombers." Helen of Troy launched 1,000 ships. Ypsilanti launched 10,000 bombers and we Won World War II! Put the Bombers training facility in the new Rec Facility the County will build on the Water Street property (1/2 way between Willow Run and Ypsi High). A lot of the property at Water Street is on Huron River Floodplain; No mortgage company will finance building on it = Football Field!! Bus Football athletes from Ypsi High and Willow Run High to the downtown recreation facility. Practice. Practice. Practice. Win the State Championship! Put Ypsilanti On the Map!!!


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

Saw in the Courier they're looking for a mascot and school colors. How about Dapple Grey for the color and A Bucket of Sad for the face of the new district?


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

PWG, Nice insight. Know what you mean about the "smart race" in A2. Like your closing sentence.


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

D'Real, your comment that we should "honor each other's opinion," was a phrase often uttered by John Burton. John was mayor of Ypsilanti back in 1967-1968; he was one of the nations first black mayors. At any public meeting where there was controversy, Mayor Burton would use that phrase when it was his turn to speak. Those would be his first words, followed by stating his opinion on the issue. I think that is a hallmark of Ypsilanti politics. The late Peter Fletcher held a public forum every Saturday morning at the VFW. People of all political persuasions attended. Ypsi folks discussed public issues and all left the forum in good spirits. From reading this website, it looks like folks in A2 are more into proving who is the smartest, if ya git my drift . . . The Ypsi motto is: "All of us are smarter than any of us!"


Sun, Mar 3, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

Piney Woods....well said. Those of us in the new district can get through anything together.