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Posted on Mon, May 10, 2010 : 11:22 p.m.

Ypsilanti Public Schools hires new assistant superintendent for educational quality

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti school board approved a candidate to fill the vacant assistant superintendent for instructional quality position on Monday evening.

Jennifer Martin, the current principal at Oak Park Preparatory Academy, received full board support and was given a two-year contract at $108,000 annually.

At the board’s April 26 meeting, several board members expressed concerns over Martin’s proposed salary and the procedure by which she was selected. A vote on approving her hiring was scratched prior to that meeting.

Since then, the district lowered her proposed annual salary from $115,000 to $108,000. Richard Weigel, who formerly held the position, earned $108,000 annually.

In addition, the board’s human resources committee met with Superintendent Dedrick Martin - who is not related to Jennifer Martin - and John Fulton, executive director of human resources, to ask about the hiring process.

On Monday, several board members said they appreciated the proposed salary was lowered given the economic climate, and that the HR committee and administration met.

Board President David Bates, who is on the HR committee, said he thought the process the district went through in was “thorough and rigorous.”

“They considered all the needs of student body and board goals,” he said.

Vice President Linda Horne, who is also on the HR committee, said she's excited to have Martin working for the district.

“I did my due diligence a long time ago, and I know we have a winner here,” she said.

Martin brings nine years of administrative experience, including four at Joy Middle School in Detroit and two at Detroit Technology High School as an assistant principal. She has worked as principal of Oak Park Preparatory Academy, a school for eighth and ninth grade students in the district, since 2007. Martin said her current position has provided experience working within a deficit elimination plan.

Martin earned her master's degree in education from Wayne State University and is a doctoral candidate at Walden University.

Martin said she was attracted to the community cohesiveness in the Ypsilanti district and is looking forward to working for more than just one school.

“I appreciate the support the board has shown and look forward to serving the entire community,” she said.

Superintendent Martin said the interview process was different because candidates were asked to give a presentation on how they had helped close the achievement gap at their previous school, which is one of the Ypsilanti district's priorities. He said Jennifer Martin “hands down” gave the best presentation of any candidate.

“We’re very excited to have her here, and we’ll try to get her on board as soon as possible,” Superintendent Martin said.

Martin said she is aiming to start on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Tue, May 11, 2010 : 5:50 p.m.

Heather, this person, I believe, will oversee the curriculum, testing, grants and many other areas that the district relies on for funding. It's really an important job.

Emma Jackson

Tue, May 11, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

Martin, like Jackson, Smith and Brown, is a common last name. The YPS Superintendent, Dedrick Martin, is no relation to Ms. Jennifer Martin who was voted unanimously to be the district's next Assistant Superintendent for Educational Quality.


Tue, May 11, 2010 : 1:25 p.m.

Gosh, Heather, are you saying we should just close up shop? I disagree! Our kids deserve the best education possible, and we cannot afford to give up or even "coast," regardless of class size. I wish Ms. Martin the best, and I am grateful that she is being given a decent foundation upon which to build.


Tue, May 11, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

I certainly wish her well, but I really don't understand hiring someone to improve the quality of instruction when the student : teacher ratio is going to significantly increase next year. It's like tying cement blocks around each member of the swim team and then hiring a new swim coach.


Tue, May 11, 2010 : 7:19 a.m.

Well, let's give her a chance. I was against paying her more than Richard Weigel earned, but that's been taken care of. I'm sure we'll all be watching closely, so I'm sure she'll be on her toes.

Ypsi by Choice

Tue, May 11, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

Of no relation to any other Martin in the distric, I am sure....