Ypsilanti schools hires 3 new principals for fall
Ypsilanti Pubic Schools promoted two teachers and hired one outside candidate to fill open leadership positions at Ypsilanti Middle, Erickson Elementary and Estabrook Elementary schools.
The district has struggled with educators and school officials leaving in recent years because of its financial difficulties and frequent staff layoffs.
At Erickson, Kevin Carney is retiring on June 30 after 10 years as the school’s principal. Estabrook Elementary Principal Joe Guillen retired mid-year around the same time YPS issued mid-year layoffs.
“After conducting a thorough search, I believe we have the right candidates to fill these key positions,” said Superintendent Dedrick Martin in a statement Tuesday. “We were looking for strong instructional leaders who would help to move the district forward academically, and I am confident these three individuals are a good fit.”
Kelly Powers, a 15-year veteran of the district and current president of the teachers union, will become the new principal at Erickson, while Karla Graessley, who has been an elementary teacher for 25 years, will take over at Estabrook. Graessley has served as the interim principal there since Guillen’s retirement.
Ypsilanti’s current middle school principal, Kimberly Ferrell, is moving to Forest School to fill a vacancy left by Principal Janice Sturdivant. Sturdivant also is expected to retire in June.
The district hired Jason Riggs from South Redford School District to replace Ferrell. Riggs has been a middle school principal in South Redford for the past five years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and has worked in education since 1998, according to YPS.
Ypsilanti school officials said Riggs will be available to meet students and parents at 6 p.m. Thursday in the middle school media center.