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Posted on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 8:25 a.m.

One of 3 finalists for Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent accepts job in Virginia

By Staff

Thumbnail image for ShelleyRedinger.jpg

Shelley Redinger

Shelley Redinger, one of three finalists to be the next superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, was named the Spotsylvania County (Va.) superintendent Monday, according to

Redinger served as superintendent for the Oregon Trail School District in Sandy, Ore., since 2007. She interviewed in Ann Arbor on Feb. 16.

The two remaining finalists are North Allegheny Superintendent Patricia Green and Des Moines Chief Academic Officer Michael Munoz.


say it plain

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

In the updated article on this topic, which AAcom apparently is unable to link to this article still attracting comments about how, jeez, too bad that 'best' candidate got away.... an AAPS board member says that she wishes this person well but she wasn't in her list of 'top' contenders... so that answers the question I think definitively no? It seemed from previous articles that the Board here had two top of the three, and were arguing about which of them to visit and one Board member was trying to argue for only visiting the two and not the third because what was the point. If indeed AAPS board members were in agreement about who was the 'weak' one, then Ms. Redinger was it, and if you look at the linked article from the Fredericksburg paper it seems interesting to see why. This person was being introduced as a bit of a 'personality', you know, lots of me-me-me energy, good for shaking stuff up like the Spotsylvania district might want for their particular needs but not necessarily what AAPS wants for ours. So, chins up those who hope for the best for AAPS, it's not like we've lost the one the Board really wanted, for what that's worth! The other article also seems to indicate that at least one AAPS Board member is rather disappointed that Ms. Redinger didn't follow through with the process here, indicating that it was 'poor form' to not do so, so perhaps they already felt she was rubbing them the wrong way.

say it plain

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Well, @JohnB, I looked over the annarborchronicle piece that I remembered had the comments about the candidates, and it was not a unanimous feeling that Ms. Redinger wasn't as good a candidate as the was only the strong opinion of Baskett and of Lightfoot, while the others said they'd like to keep all three in consideration for a number of reasons, including the fear that one or more might take other offers, because both Munoz and Redinger were looking elsewhere. Clearly too from other articles/info, Ms. Redinger was looking to perhaps get work as adjunct-faculty at UM (or, presumably now, at a university somewhere near Spotslyvania ;-) ), so perhaps that too figured in to her willingness to take a lower salary for her 'day job'. I for one wouldn't want to hire someone who would be moonlighting, I've seen how that works with folks in important administrative positions and my feeling is that it distracts people from doing as good a job as they can with their primary position. She also has a hubby and little boy to worry about, so perhaps that too figured into her shocking willingness to take a position other than in smug-arrogant Ann Arbor lol. It's not like I'm advocating for the awesomeness of the Board at all, just feeling like we probably aren't losing out much on losing Redinger. Not that I am in love with the other options either, just to be clear...

John B.

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

"so that answers the question I think definitively no?" No, it just says that Susan Baskett didn't like Ms. Redinger much. Probably precisely *because* she felt that Ms. Redinger wouldn't kow-tow to the Board's ever-changing micro-managing and whims! Would *you* turn down a better (overall) offer if you were in Ms. Redinger's shoes? I think not.... We are soooo darn arrogant here in A2, that we get what we deserve.

Tom Teague

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

When you interview good candidates you'll find that they often are looking in multiple places. Fredericksburg may have hurried an offer when she had such a positive interview here. In my experience hiring people, I often saw a candidate jump at the certainty of an offer and the ability to conclude their own search process even though there was a possibility of more money from someplace that was still mulling a decision. And, from the hirer's perspective, no one ever looked better than the candidate who took his or her name out of consideration.

Bob Martel

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Tom, You are so right! Years from now (I hope,) when the new candidate that will be hired in the next few weeks, inevitably ends up leaving the district on less than ideal terms, the community will "pine for what could have been!"

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

This is what happens when you use a search firm. You get the dilettantes who respond to search firms. She was only at her last job (apparently, from this story, she served as the entire Sandy school district herself) for three years. Ugh. I only wish the school board would reimburse the district for the enormous amount of money they've wasted trotting around the country on this fool's errand.

John B.

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

She is completing her fourth year as their Superintendent, with 21 years of total experience. Our Supers typically last how long, precisely???

Bob Martel

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

@ A2anon: I have lived in AA and the surrounding area for over thirty years and love it, obviously. But I find the local political scene to be particularly dysfunctional.

say it plain

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 6 p.m.

yes, they seemed to really like her according to the article (updated? looks like...) on the And if you look at the comments posted by their readers lol, it's similar to here. Oh, why outsiders? And interesting cynicism there too, with comments about how she'll just take whichever job pays more. It sounds too like she's a person who would 'shake things up' in that system, and that this will rattle some there, and that the board wanted someone who would do that. I wonder if that's just not a priority for the AAPS search, I'm guessing not. We need more of a peaceful and soothing presence it seems to me, to lead through tough times and to bring people together. But money is interesting...they report that her salary in spotsylvania will be 170K plus some perks bringing it up to like 180 or so. Didn't we decide we needed to offer like 30% more than that? She too is going to be making less money by a little than her predecessor...why can't we do the same?! Is the salary decided upon already?

John B.

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

I think the math is relatively simple: A2: $240K x 4 years = $960K Anywhere else: $180K x 10 years = $1.8 Million. (I'm excluding future increases in all cases for the sake of simplicity). It would be an easy choice for me to make (especially if I were in my mid-40s, and in the fourth year of my current position). For the 60-ish candidates, $960K over the next four years, then retiring permanently, may look worth the pain required of working here.


Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Well, larger school system, bigger budget...sounds like a great deal for her and the district seems to feel they got a real catch. So maybe she wasn't the weak candidate at all.

Elizabeth Nelson

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

Hmmm... I liked what I read about this applicant, that's too bad. What I wonder now: on the Chronicle, in a report of a recent Board meeting, at least one Board member thought there was an 'obviously weaker' third candidate that could and should be eliminated from contention... so was Redinger the 'weaker' third candidate or one of the two stronger? With her gone, the Board may have now already decided on its choice for superintendant.

John B.

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Well, I would say she was one of the stronger candidates. One of the three finalists hasn't officially been a Superintendent, and doesn't have a PhD.

say it plain

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Gee, the negativity can't be helping us find decent superintendents can it?! This will be a challenging position, no doubt, because Ann Arbor is a community that cares about education and has so many people with strong opinions indeed! It will take someone who can be *positive* and get folks together in pursuit of goals to do well here, and it seems to me that the person who has taken the job in spotsylvania did the 'right' next step for her career, which is what she seemed most concerned about anyway. There is still plenty of money in that part of the US for schools, isn't there? As opposed to all the awful budget constraints and stressed family circumstances we'll be needing to address here.

zip the cat

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

So how much money have they,the school board squandered thru searching for the next super? Who ever they hire will quit or get canned in a yr or so after seeing the way the board screws things up. So why not save all of the people who pays for all of this waste a ton of money and do like Dexter did. Hire from within I am sure there are lots of qualified persons who know whats comming down the pike and will not be shell shocked by the boards ineptness.


Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I guess that narrows it down, doesn't it?

Bob Martel

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Obviously a very discerning person. Good for her!

Bob Martel

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

John B has hit the mark. I've been living in this community for thirty years and am always amazed at the dysfunction of our political bodies compared to other more pragmatic communities. At some point the politicians need to step back and let the managers they've hired manage. If the don't like the results, the answer is to fire the managers, not for the politicians to micro manage the operation. The AA School Board is not alone in this, but they are the topic of the day.

John B.

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 6:58 p.m.

@A2anon: I think Bob is just being realistic. I've lived here for a quarter-century, and almost immediately noticed the political dysfunction soon after arriving. The School Board always seems to be one of the worst offenders. They put ever-changing demands on Supers, so the job ends up being a short-term one (which is why they have to offer a bunch of money now...). I also think the Board had already decided whom to hire when the final three were announced. I'm still guessing it's Patricia Green. She is old enough that if she can only stand the Board's shenanigans for a few years, she can then just retire. Ms. Redinger is not likely to feel that way, as she is much younger.


Tue, Mar 1, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Ummmm.... do you live in Ann Arbor? You sure seem to hate it. I'm kind of thinking not. Or if you do, why???