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Posted on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 10:15 p.m.

Willow Run school board to appoint acting superintendent at emergency meeting

By David Jesse

The Willow Run school board will hold an emergency meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday to appoint an acting superintendent, school board President Sheri Washington said tonight.

Washington said current Superintendent Doris Hope-Jackson is unavailable to perform her duties, but Washington did not specify why.

Also on the agenda is an item labeled resignation, but Washington said it's not Hope-Jackson's resignation.

Complicating matters is the fact that the Ypsilanti school district voted Monday to hire David Houle, Willow Run's second-ranking administrator. Houle, who serves as Willow Run's chief financial officer, is taking a similiar role in Ypsilanti.

Willow Run's financial situation has been troubled for the past few years. The district has been steadily losing students and is the midst of a state-mandated deficit reduction plan that aims to pare down a budget shortfall that once topped $3.3 million.

And Hope-Jackson has had a stormy and sometimes controversial tenure at the district. Earlier this year, she announced she was resigning only to quickly rescind.

Check back for coverage from the meeting Wednesday night.



Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 6:12 p.m.

If the three districts that serve the Ypsilanti area (Lincoln, Ypsilanti Public Schools, and Willow Run) were to consolidate, there would be many benefits. The newly created district would save a great deal of money by having less administrative positions. Less of those six-figure salaries would mean more money for teachers, thus reducing class size and giving students more individual attention. The saving would occur in other areas as well, ensuring the districts would not have to cut important programs such as art and music. Additionally the teachers/schools of each district would be able to share their best practices with each other. Students would again benefit. All three districts are rather small and it would not create a situation too large to manage. When I moved here I was shocked to learn that three separate districts served the students of this area. Combining the three districts is a move that would make sense both financially for all involved and academically for the students.


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 1:23 p.m.

A stronger reason for consolidation of Willow Run Schools with a neighboring district is its appalling graduation rate. Whatever is happening with administration/finances, is impacting the students, their families and their future. No district graduating less than 40% of their students is serving the students. This is a disservice and one that should not be perpetuated.


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 7:42 a.m.

Okay this really sad and I am so tired of this school district. My daughter is an 8th grader at the middle school and I don't think she will be returning next year because they don't have it together. They are going to continue to lose kids because of things like this....


Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 4:43 a.m.

Consolidation is the only method left to save schools like Willow Run. (My school district) I don't care who you consolidate with, but time is of the essence. The self-serving lot will dig in their heels and fight it....but it is time to let go. Our school district has become an embarrassment to us.


Tue, Oct 27, 2009 : 10:22 p.m.

This could potentially be a good thing, not a bad thing.