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Posted on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 3:30 p.m.

Ypsilanti Public Schools searching for new high school principal

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Public Schools has narrowed its search for a new principal at the high school to two candidates.

The district is moving toward elimination of its six contract employees over the next two years, and current YPS principal Jon Brown is among them.

Thumbnail image for Dedrick Martin.jpg

Dedrick Martin

Superintendent Dedrick Martin said the contract employees have retired but have been hired back into the district to temporarily fill vacancies. Because they already retired, those employees are receiving a salary from the district plus their retirement.

Martin said the district must first eliminate contract employees' positions when it starts laying off administrators or teachers. The district has already laid off several teachers and plans to notify more of layoffs in the coming months.

“It has nothing to do with performance for any of them,” Martin said. “We have several contract employees who are outstanding, but we have to make some very difficult decisions to help move the district forward.”

When asked about the popularity of Brown, who has been with YPS for the last three years and is one of the more visible contract employees, Martin said there is no fair way to only eliminate some of the positions.

Brown said he appreciates the support the community has always shown.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment,” he said. “I do understand what a contract employee is, and I do understand the superintendent’s position.”

Brown and Martin said contract language prevents Brown from coming back as a full-time principal instead of a contract employee.

Martin said the interview committee will likely come to a decision after a final round of interviews this week. The interview committee is composed of himself, two parents, a union president, Human Resources Director John Fulton, a principal and public relations director Emma Jackson.

Although Martin said he could not name the two finalists, all those considered were local candidates except for one. District officials have confirmed that one of the finalists is Justin Moore, principal at Centennial High School in Martin’s former district of Champaign, Ill., Unit 4.

District officials in Champaign confirmed Justin Moore has tendered his resignation effective the end of this school year.


Tom Perkins

Thu, Apr 22, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

eyeloveypsi, That was the list provided by the HR office. I'll check to see if it didn't include half-time employees.


Thu, Apr 22, 2010 : 12:27 p.m.

Xie, those are my thoughts, too. What Ypsi does not need is another Doris Hope-Jackson. And EyeloveYpsi, if you're right, then here are two more people to be thrown in the trash after years and years of making a positive difference for the Ypsilanti community. Who is Dedrick Martin to come in and get rid of so many people who have made such positive differences for YPS? Ron Wiedbusch is beloved by YPS students in every school. It seems to me Mr. Martin is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If that is a directive he was given by the board, shame on them! If it was his own call, does he have any idea how much distrust of him is growing? For that matter, even if it's the board that is behind this, do THEY have any idea how much distrust is brewing? Maybe nobody cares, but they should. We're not back in the times when students were chained to one district. People will begin to take their children elsewhere if this distrust grows. Take note, Mr. Martin: you're still a stranger here and the word on the street isn't necessarily good.


Thu, Apr 22, 2010 : 9:16 a.m.

I've been told there are 8 contracted employees. Don't have first names, but two more are Oliver and Weedbush? Maybe half time each?


Wed, Apr 21, 2010 : 11:43 p.m.

Wow...YPS I would keep my eye on Mr. Martin he seems to display some of the same behaviors as Willow Runs former Super she hired people and they have been brought up on several charges!!! What were you thinking hiring David Houle he was a disaster!

Tom Perkins

Wed, Apr 21, 2010 : 9:35 a.m.

Ypsi Supporter, I was told by the assistant superintendent of achievement in Champaign that Justin Moore is interviewing in several districts and tendered his resignation in December. He praised him and said state achievement test scores are up. But, as CountyKate pointed out, they didn't meet AYP. Here's a link to an article:


Wed, Apr 21, 2010 : 7:29 a.m.

Ypsi supporter, I believe the Champaign school Moore comes from did not meet AYP and will have to restructure. The way they chose to restructure includes a change in leadership. At least, that's what I found from poking around on the Internet. So, essentially, Moore is being fired. I agree that Jon Brown is the best principal YHS has had in a long, long time. If new Superintendent Martin wants to put in his favorite from Champaign, that sounds like cronyism and Ypsilanti has had more than enough of that, much to our detriment. The question now is whether or not our Board of Education has the spine to stand up to Martin and (a) keep the educators who are doing a good job (Brown, DeRossett and Wilkinson, from where I sit) and (b) not allow Martin to bring a failure to Ypsilanti just because he knows the guy. Martin does, after all, serve at the pleasure of the board. And board members serve at the pleasure of the community. If we don't like what's happening, we need to be vocal about it.

Tom Perkins

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 9:58 p.m.

YpsiMom, I was originally told five contract employees by the administration, then a secretary emailed a list with six names after the story was published. Apparently I overlooked changing that number. Thanks for alerting me. Tom

ypsi supporter

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 9:26 p.m.

Why would someone resign from a position BEFORE they have new employment secured? Is this candidate from Champaign, Ill (where our new Superintendent came from) actually working as Principal until the end of this school year, or is he just getting paid, or put into a different position waiting for the end of the school year? I am under the understanding that Mr. Brown did not want to resign, but was asked to put in his resignation. If other "contracted" people are still working past this June, the stance that Mr. Brown has to leave Ypsi because he is contracted does not ring true. This whole thing does not seem on the up-and-up. Let's make sure we know what we are getting ourselves into... we need stable leadership. If Mr. Brown is willing to stay on, and Ypsi can afford him, I believe his proven track record is valuable.


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

The original article mentions that the Ypsilanti School District is trying to eliminate 5 contract employees, yet there are six listed. Do we know who is "safe?"


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

Loosing Mr. Brown would be a tragedy. He has brought stability and respect back to Ypsilanti High School. In Mr. Brown, all students have a mentor and role model who, by example, has shown them that power and respect can come from calm determination and consideration of others. He provide a sorely needed example of how a man should behave. Certainly there must be a way to keep Mr. Brown at the high school without violating union contracts. Two other responses to earlier comments. The "Case against the Zero" was not Mr. Brown's idea. That came from Richard Weigel who, thankfully, is no longer with the District. It is my understanding that John Fulton is indeed a contract employee. Hopefully, this purge will result in at least one good thing - getting rid of employees like Mr. Fulton who add no value.


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 10:17 a.m.

MGoYpsi, it's also interesting that the "outside candidate," Justin Moore's, current school district already knows he won't be back. Is that because the fix is in and he'll be coming to Ypsi? Or has he been "let go" from that district? Either way, this smells to high heaven. I know of three instances where the previous Ypsilanti superintendent brought in principals he knew personally and two of those three times the principals were disasters. Is the board going to allow this sort of thing again? Sure looks that way. Nice catch on the part of Tom Perkins, by the way, for finding out that Moore is leaving his current position.

Tom Perkins

Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 10:09 a.m.

Rose, The district's contract employees are: John Fulton, executive director of human resources Jon Brown, YHS principal Pat DeRossett, Estabrook principal Tulani Glenn, parent resource training specialist Ruth Jordan, director of student support services Bob Wilkinson, director of auxiliary programs


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 9:11 a.m.

@Rose - yep, he sure is. And if I'm not mistaken, he's also one of the highest paid "employees" in the district.


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 8:15 a.m.

Interesting that the only "outside candidate" is from the superintendent's old district. If he gets the job, will YPS pay for his relocation?


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

Isn't Fulton a contract employee? He should be the first to go.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 10:09 p.m.

This may be great news! Maybe this new guy will realize how YPS is pumping up their grading by giving 49% for zero work! No other school district in this county does this--but hey, it fills a sports team! I have a child in this district and it sickens me. I NEVER get the reports, report crds, etc. I have gone in there asking for over and over again. The teachers's hands are tied. How sad for any other kid in this county who works hard and receives a 49%--for effort--but at least tries. Unlike these losers who allow the kids to dictate their grading. Look up the "Case Against the Zero"--it is illogical at best.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 7:57 p.m.

Interesting. What a hypocritical thing for the district to do. A few years ago, the then-financial director and superintendent talked a few of the best administrators into "retiring" and staying on in a contract position because it would save the district money not to have to pay them benefits. Now, they're going to terminate those contracts, whether or not the contract employee is ready to go. How's that as a reward for faithful and diligent service? The current board members should be ashamed. Either they have directed the new superintendent to conduct this hatchet job, or they are supporting his actions to bring in his own out-of-state crew. Whichever, they are showing current and future teachers and administrators that they can't expect any loyalty and support from those they serve. This board has been and will continue to be a sad disappointment to those of us who have spent our time supporting Ypsilanti Public Schools. And if this is an example of how Mr. Martin intends to conduct business in Ypsilanti, let him take note: we're gotten rid of superintendents more firmly entrenched than he and we can do it again. Nothing gets voters to the polls quite so easily as their being disgusted with the current situation.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

Oh now come on "Outside Observer", why would you assume that our noble superintendent would hire one of his friends and cover it up using the pretense of an open search? Just because he and his cronies closed a school or two after pretending they were open to "community input"? Or because they kept changing the numbers in their enrollment data throughout the process? Or because they never answered basic questions that parents had? Or because they still won't say what kind of "educational activities" they plan for Chapelle? Or because they...hmmm...maybe you have a point there...

outside observer

Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

Hmm...How very interesting, it seems that our "superintendent" (and Fulton) have already decided who will be principal at YHS. Just like they decided what schools would close in January and then subjected our community to an expensive and time-consuming public relations farce before jamming the closing of East Middle and Chapelle down our throats. I'm sure the Board of Education will show up at the next meeting and approve whatever they present.... And by the way, I've seen the website and billboard for "New Tech High". My God. Whatever adult designed them should return any money they were paid to the district and enroll in New Tech High as soon as possible so that they can join the rest of us in a world that actually understands something about technology and design. What an embarrassment....