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Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Patricia Green resignation: Letter from Ann Arbor school board president Deb Mexicotte

By Danielle Arndt

Deb Mexicotte, president of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education, sent a letter to the school community on Thursday that was included in an email announcing Superintendent Patricia Green is retiring.

Here is the full text of that letter:

To the Ann Arbor Community -

I am writing you today to announce that after 43 years in education, Dr. Patricia Green has informed the Ann Arbor Board of Education of her retirement, and has resigned from her position as the Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools effective in 90 days.

In the time Dr. Green has served our community she has made a lasting and positive impact in the areas of public school advocacy, interdepartmental collaboration, district budget and finance, staff hiring and development, student achievement and social development, and implementation of our Strategic Plan.

In highlighting some of her many accomplishments I would like to start with her strong and effective advocacy at the State level. Her voice has been heard in changing legislative direction in areas such as the strengthening of proposed anti-bullying initiatives and the creation of a more equitable system for identifying and supporting both struggling and achieving schools.

Her work with the University of Michigan on the Mitchell-Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative, on the development of new teacher evaluation metrics and on the continuation of the elementary World Language program exemplified her willingness to reach out to all district partners and stakeholders to improve educational options for our students. When we needed additional help with transportation for our students, she collaborated effectively with AATA to develop additional high school bus routes. She also brought together a broad-based Ad Hoc Committee on Transportation that studied and reported on sustainability of our transportation system for the future.

She has also forged new partnerships with local and national businesses. Most notably, the Ann Arbor Public School District was the only K-12 district in the United States to be chosen by Toyota to partner with them in developing a pilot program to advance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education at the secondary level. She and her administrative team have been collaborating with Toyota for the past year and this summer, the first cohort of Ann Arbor administrators and teachers will travel to Singapore to study and receive training regarding best practices in STEM education. Because of her support of the arts, an "A" has been added to make it "STEAM," to include arts education.

At the direction of the Board, and through her extensive professional expertise and close collaboration with district staff, Dr. Green has set us on the path to creating a zero-based budgeting model and line-by-line accountability systems that will help us better understand and maintain our educational excellence. Dr. Green has worked closely with the WISD and other district Superintendents to identify new and continuing sources of revenue, and brought an additional 1.4 million dollars in Medicaid reimbursement to the district in her first few months of service. She was a staunch and tireless advocate for the recent passage of the Ann Arbor Technology Bond, and has also been a strong voice in developing sustainable and appropriate reimbursement strategies for the county-wide Special Education millage. Finally, Dr. Green helped forge partnerships with the AAPSEF and the PTO Thrift shops that now financially sustain important district initiatives that faced elimination due to budget constraints.

Dr. Green has also needed to fill many key district positions that were left vacant through retirement, including several instructional cabinet positions and the principal position at one of our comprehensive high schools. She has hired exemplary staff for these positions and the district will benefit from their expertise for many years to come.

To improve student achievement, Dr. Green worked closely with instructional staff to develop comprehensive plans to address achievement and discipline disparities. These efforts have already shown measureable improvements in student test scores, and graduation rates and a decrease in class time lost to student suspensions. Her Community Builders program, implemented at all the district's elementary schools and funded through the generous support of AAPSEF, celebrates supportive and cooperative learning environments and partners with our students as ambassadors for their own "peaceable" learning environments.

Finally Dr. Green has been an active member of our community, devoting her time and resources to a number of our local civic and charitable organizations, including the Ann Arbor Rotary Club, the AAPSEF, the University Musical Society, the NAACP and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra - to name just a few. She and her husband, Steve, have embraced all that Ann Arbor has to offer - the restaurants, galleries, festivals and cultural events - and have told me many times how enchanted they were from their first visit to Ann Arbor and how happy they have been to become part of our community.

On a personal note, I have enjoyed a very productive and rewarding partnership with Dr. Green as we have worked together on any number of district focused efforts and events over the last few years. On behalf of the Ann Arbor Board of Education I would like to wish Dr. Green all the best in her retirement and thank her for her dedicated and exemplary work on behalf of our district's students, parents, staff and community.

The Board will be meeting in the very near future to discuss our next steps as we move toward the end of our academic year and through this very important leadership transition.

Sincerely, Deb Mexicotte, President Ann Arbor Board of Education

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



Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

Will Dr. Green's retirement compensation be based on her salary before or after the pay cut that she accepted?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

and what i ask would you expect her to say?

Steve Hendel

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Any way you slice it, the School Board is responsible for the actions of the Superintendent. Who hired her? If she is as great as Ms Mexicotte's 'reference letter' states, then why did she resign with over half her contract remaining, especially in light of her pledge of being here " for the long term"?

Steve Hendel

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

So, why did she resign with three years left on her contract?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

"...she and her husband, Steve, have embraced all that Ann Arbor has to offer..." or so it says! Is that why she couldn't/wouldn't even live here. That letter sounds like she wrote it herself, with the P.S.: "...and, by the way, I really love it here, but I'm gettin' out!" Two years in an important job and then jumping ship does not impress us.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

So when can we expect to file a FOIA request to find out what really happened?

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

Danielle is already on it Alan.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

So signing a five year contract means nothing then? Apparently not. If that's the kind of person we hired then we don't need you.

Lets Get Real

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

"Dr. Green has been an active member of our community"? She never committed to this community. She kept her home in Maryland, her husband kept his business there, and the community involvement listed is mostly resume building, in absetnia board positions for which the contribution was minimal. She always had a foot "back home." 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 and falls squarely on the backs of the Board of Education. Just more evidence that throwing money at something or someone is not the solution to problems. I certainly hope she didn't have a 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. Voters - the next move is yours. Replace this group. This is not leadership.


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

Wow , is this a negative response or what? Personally from Ms. Mexicotte's letter she sounds like she did a lot of very good things. Considering the budget pressures , the negative attitude towards teachers by the Republican legislature, and the lack of support from the community, who wouldn't leave. Come on Ann Arbor has great public schools relative to other communities. That results from , the dedication of the School Board, the Administration , and wonderful teachers. Get off your butts and run for school board , if you have better ideas.

Stuart Brown

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:09 a.m.

Deb Mexicotte lead the charge for the higher pay--so they could attract great talent! Worked great didn't it? Dr. Green is exactly the type of person we should have expected; a passionless, hired gun who had no real stake in the community. The part about this that is so sad is that the board seems to have convinced itself that nobody with substantial experience, dedication and loyalty could be found inside the AAPS.

Jeff Reimold

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

isn't it time for Deb Mixicotte to go away?


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

If you ever have a problem where you can't get a fair or helpful response from your child's teacher or the school's principal you might find yourself in a position to discuss your problem with Deb Mexicotte because you don't know where else to turn. If you are in that position and you reach out to her you can be sure she will respond immediately and appropriately and will do everything in her power to make things right. We have personal experience with her on that level and it has meant the world to our family. I still affirm with great conviction based on personal experience that both Ms. Mexicotte and Dr. Green truly care about the kids above all else. Their efforts to justify every budget expenditure regardless of the push back from the teachers' union is laudable but alas futile. The money is not there but the money grabbers remain strong as ever.

Jeff Reimold

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:41 a.m.

bye-bye, just another lost cause.....


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.

I can't believe we trust our children with these incompetent and dysfunctional people. What a joke, this letter is simply unbelievable.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:58 a.m.

Don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.


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

What impresses me most about Mexicotte's recommendation letter for Green is how long and detailed it is. Quite remarkable when the Board claims not to have had any advance warning of the resignation. The letter obviously took some time to research and compose. It did not just pop up instantly with all those itemized achievements listed and well-organized. The official story does not sound very plausible. The letter took a lot longer to write than the short time span between its release and the announcement of the resignation, whether it was written by Green or Mexicotte. Either way, there seems to be far more premeditation than we are being let it on.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

More likely Mexicotte's letter is an extract from Dr. Green's recent performance evaluation by the Board. That was in late April or early March, IIRC.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:05 a.m.

agreed. IF Green wrote it, and Mexicotte signed it.... then that's plagiarism. We can teach the kids about it -- adults do it too.


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

If this is the quality person the schools get for such a high cost, I recommend a much lower starting salary and base increments on results and longevity.


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



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

Need any help packing?!


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Hang the peace flag!


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.

This letter provides evidence for why Board meetings are so long.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

I'm curious how long Mexicotte has known about this resignation. Did she put this letter together in a few hours, having just received the information last night, as claimed?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

Probably. Deb is a skillful writer, and the Board just did Dr. Green's evaluation for the 2012-13 school year.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Truly a teachable moment


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Mark my words: she isn't retiring to write a book or enjoy retirement. Within the next few months (or much sooner), we will be hearing about Patricia Green's new job as a superintendent at another school. She was largely ineffective, no matter what the BoE wants to say. And the BoE should be held responsible for their incompetence throughout this whole hiring/resigning fiasco.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:05 p.m.

"Dr. Green has also needed to fill many key district positions that were left vacant through retirement....She has hired exemplary staff for these positions and the district will benefit from their expertise for many years to come." I find this statement rather interesting and misleading, considering the turmoil at Carpenter.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Are they going to close Clemente and mainstream all the "at risk" minority youth... while claiming the whole time to be doing something about the achievement gap? Hopeless.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

Some people erroneously use quotes for emphasis. Maybe this was one of those cases. Just speculating.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

Just wondering, but why did you put "at risk" in quotation marks that way?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

We need to pull together to build on Dr. Green's successes. I wish her well and hope the next superintendent is ready for the long haul.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

The domino effect is starting, like many school districts across the nation many have started a bankruptcy proceedings or are having difficulty not meeting payments for vendors and in many cases schools are going without the infrastructure costs to maintain adequate operations. The recent implosion in Chicago, Los Angels, Philadelphia and in most large cities along with hundreds of smaller school districts are facing the same dilemma. Move over APPS your getting closer than you think, transportation is the first to go, didn't I just read that earlier today?

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

This is a wake-up call to the Ann Arbor community. The School Board is dysfunctional and should all resign. I do not blame Pat Green for not wanting to deal with the problem personalities on the board. The best the Ann Arbor community could do to support Pat Green was talk about her being over-paid and that she should take a pay cut. Give me a break. Another reason for charter schools--not run by a school board like this.

A Voice of Reason

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Thank you for agreeing with me. Something is strange and fishy with our school board. Since they do not want Zero Based Budgeting, there are big questions.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Voice -- I agree. Dr. Green is not the reason there has been so much turnover in that position the past few years. The board, especially the President of the Board, needs to step DOWN.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

Charters ARE the answer.

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

Yes they are!


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

Stop blaming the people at the local level. The state legislature, heavily republican, is stripping public schools of the funds needed to thrive. Did you even read Ms. Mexicotte's letter. Dr. Green achieved much in her short stay. She didn't waste time and is leaving on good terms. Charters are NOT the answer.

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

Ms. Mexicotte, please make sure you read all the comments from community members, I have a feeling only you will miss her, oh, and maybe others on the board who hired her. I am not sure I trust you and the board to hire a new person, and as you stated at a meeting this week, she is (WAS) your only employee! This is time for celebration in AAPS!


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

TLDR. 17 million in budget reductions. Too overwhelming I'm outta here.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

I don't question her decision one bit. . . She's in a lose lose position. . . Education dollars for students are shrinking. . . Expenses are increasing. . . The reserve is shrinking. . . Her bosses are very nasty (legislators and public). No amount of money will make her job better. Everyone wants her to take a pay cut? She did. She's giving it all back: 100% pay cut. Thank you Dr. Green for your lifelong devotion to educating our children.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

Well said. I feel the exact same way.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

She jumped ship faster than you can say "PAY CUT".


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

Because of her they named something "STEAM"? Why am I not surprised?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

It is totally INAPPROPRIATE for the School Board president to write a note like this when her new hire barely lasted two years. This isn't a success - it's a failure. You don't sing the praise of someone that quits after two years in the job. The cost to get her - and her salary - are an embarrassment to the district. Now, with no one able to step into the role temporarily, the School Board is hosed.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

This "highly sought after" superintendent was a failure, not even staying 1/2 of commitment. She was a poor match for the community. IMHO, Ms. Mexicotte does a disservice to the community by praising this ineffectual quitter.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

You do if you want to hire another highly sought after candidate. I really don't understand why Ann Arbor parents/residents don't get this. Quality people cost money and they are only going to cost more in the future due to the large charter school networks that are now competing for the same talent. The reality is that parents in A2 want a top tier school district and think they can do it with bargain talent, good luck with that.