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