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Posted on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

WISD board approves moving forward with Ypsilanti schools superintendent negotiations

By Danielle Arndt

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Negoiations between the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and Ypsilanti Community Schools for superintendent services are expected to push forward next week.

At a meeting Wednesday night, the WISD Board of Education authorized its president and vice president to enter into contract conversations with the joint Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board for WISD Superintendent Scott Menzel to simultaneously act as superintendent of the new Ypsilanti Community Schools during the merger transition.


Scott Menzel

Courtesy of the WISD

Joint board President David Bates attended Wednesday’s meeting to communicate the request of his board. The WISD authorization vote was unanimous.

Menzel said the board did not engage in a lot of conversation about specific questions surrounding the arrangement since Wednesday’s authorization was just the beginning of the process. The sense was board members wanted some time to formulate their questions and then would place the topic of superintendent services on a future meeting agenda to gain more clarity, Menzel said.

The joint Ypsilanti-Willow Run board approved Monday in a controversial and unanimous vote appointing Menzel as the temporary superintendent for the new consolidated Ypsilanti Community Schools district. The board also voted to retain current Ypsilanti Superintendent Dedrick Martin and Willow Run Superintendent Laura Lisiscki as associate leaders under Menzel.

The next school board meeting for the new district is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Willow Run High School. On the agenda is a presentation on the teacher and principal selection process and hiring timeline, as well as a recommendation to launch a small-learning-communities model in the new district's secondary building.

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



Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

IF the schools can use this opportunity to upgrade the administrative & teaching staff, there is hope, but I have serious doubts. Were Board members & superintendents (YPSI,at least) not responsible for the current situation? Are the principals competent? Have they had classroom experience? Do they support their teachers' development or simply find fault? Can the teachers speak & write good English? These seem like no-brainers, but hiring practices have been notably deficient. The new district needs to step it up, & the Board's first decision does notbgive confidence.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 1:48 a.m.

Looks like WISD finally took over the education researcher's dream....a small district with an urban setting.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Why not. They got $6.5 mil from the state, lets just sign the check over to him. And the same day that this comes out, which is a couple days after we found out we are the hook for a couple hundred thousand for old superintendents due to horrible contracts written by a couple of the current board members, we will find out how they are going to fire and then low ball the teachers and principals they hire and/or rehire. Brilliant. It's getting really hard not to want to just give up on the district.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

I agree. Looks like a repeat of he same old problems & with the same old lackluster leadership. Can no one make tough decisions in the interest of our kids? In Ypsi, this is the same group that laid off special ed staff w/o knowledge of MI law, right? Sounds incompetent to me.

Dan r OBryan

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

i agree .i never voted for this and its going down hill .