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Posted on Tue, May 7, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Ypsilanti schools superintendent is finalist for St. Johns position

By Danielle Arndt

An Ypsilanti schools superintendent was named one of three finalists for the top leadership position at St. Johns Public Schools.


Ypsilanti Public Schools Superintendent Dedrick Martin

Danielle Arndt | file photo

Ypsilanti Public Schools Superintendent Dedrick Martin spent May 1 in St. Johns for a site visit and second-round interview with the district, according to a post on the St. Johns Public Schools website.

Martin; Daniel Cwayna, superintendent of West Branch Rose City Area Schools; and Ronald Drzewicki, superintendent of White Pigeon Community Schools, all were selected as finalists on April 25. The St. Johns superintendent plans to retire on June 30, the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

St. Johns, which is located about 30 minutes north of Lansing, is a district similarly sized to Ypsilanti. It had a fall enrollment of 3,134 students, while Ypsilanti's enrollment was 3,339.

Martin declined to comment Tuesday on his status as a finalist for the job, stating he wanted to let the process work itself out first.

Martin started with the Ypsilanti district in September 2009. YPS' most recent salary and compensation report, per the state of Michigan's transparency reporting requirement, shows Martin earned a base salary of $140,000 in 2011 and a total compensation of $222,164.

Martin already was offered a job as associate superintendent for the consolidated Ypsilanti Community Schools district. The district will open July 1 and is the product of Ypsilanti Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools merging.

The retention of Martin was controversial within the Ypsilanti area. He and current Willow Run Superintendent Laura Lisiscki were retained to serve in the consolidated district, essentially creating a three-legged leadership structure, with Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel at the helm as chief superintendent over Martin and Lisiscki.

With the two districts consolidating, some current staff from both Ypsilanti and Willow Run have lost their jobs.

Decisions on coaches, paraprofessionals, custodian staff, assistant principals, central administration and building secretaries have yet to be made. Teacher notifications were sent out Friday. The notices informed 59 percent of teacher applicants from Willow Run, or 43 individuals, they would be offered a position with the new district, while the rest were given "no" or "maybe" letters. Sixty-nine percent of Ypsilanti teacher applicants, or 126 people, were offered jobs.

Because of the employment uncertainty, staff in both Ypsilanti and Willow Run have been looking for other opportunities. Former Ypsilanti Executive Director of Human Resources Sharon Irvine resigned in March to become assistant superintendent and chief human resource officer for Warren Consolidated Schools.

Another Ypsilanti Public Schools official is a superintendent candidate elsewhere in the state. Scott Snyder, executive director of facilities and operations for Ypsilanti, is one of two finalists for the top leadership spot at Monroe Public Schools, according to a report published Tuesday in the Toledo Blade. Snyder, a former Northville Public Schools elementary principal, was hired by Ypsilanti prior to the 2012-13 academic year.

St. Johns Superintendent Ken Ladouceur announced his retirement in February, after four years as superintendent, according to a report in The Clinton Chronicle.

St. Johns Public Schools is using the consulting firm Ray & Associates to assist with its search, the district's website says. This is the same Iowa-based superintendent search firm the Ann Arbor Public Schools district is using to help replace outgoing superintendent Patricia Green.

The next regular St. Johns Board of Education meeting is May 25. It was unclear as of Tuesday night when the board expects to make its final decision on a superintendent.

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



Wed, May 8, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

Martin is a wonderful superintendent. St. Johns should definitely hire him. Please, please hire him.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

Go Dedrick Go! I hope you get that job.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

Replace him. Start the process now.

greg, too

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Well this is excellent. We kept the dimmest bulbs around, let the quality leaders go, and then even the dim ones might be on the way out. Please take him away. Maybe take Lisicki as his assistant? I have to imagine Menzel has money in the slush fund to make this happen.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

sounds like an outstanding plan !


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Ridiculous. If YCS hires someone to fill his position ...


Wed, May 8, 2013 : 1 a.m.

If YCS hires someone to fill his position... we'd be paying four superintendents, wouldn't we?


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

He did bring in some changes that needed to be made, so I don't doubt his ability to lead a district. It's just that when the district really needs him to follow through, he might leave. Then again, with the amount of pressure that's on him, who can blame him?


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

If the changes he brought in were so great, why did you leave the school district?

tom swift jr.

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

I'm hard put to think of any changes Martin initiated that resulted in a better school district or a better education for the students.

tom swift jr.

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

I doubt he'll get the position, but, if he does, I'll bet you all that Menzel will hire someone to replace him.

Basic Bob

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

we can hope the replacement won't have a contract guaranteed through 2016.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

Amazing. Simply amazing. They wanted to keep him on during the transition process, and then he leaves as the change is about to take place.

Basic Bob

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

if they wanted him to stay, the new board would have hired him as superintendent. he is free to leave any time he wants to give notice, but if he stays they have to pay him regardless of title or duties assigned to him. under the circumstances, i would look for another job, too. he is certainly qualified.


Tue, May 7, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

This is what he is. He was here long enough to suck the district dry, get his education paid for, and left the district far worse off than when he got here. As much as I have no ill will for the other district, please take him off of our hands. And it does make you wonder if there was another backroom deal from Menzel and WISD to give him incentive to move on.

Lil Mama

Tue, May 7, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Seems to me its a smart decision for him to leave, especially with the public back lash against the superintendents for staying.....administrative overhead......3 superintendents for 1 school district is extreme.