YPSILANTI, MI – The Ypsilanti school board will discuss the resumes of candidates vying for a board seat recently vacated by a long-time member.
The board will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 11, during which it will select the top three candidates that it will then interview on October 18.
The seat became vacant following the resignation of Ellen Champagne, who had served on the board for 11 years, as a member of the Ypsilanti Community Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools boards.
In a letter to the board and administration, Champagne said she was unable to perform the remainder of her term, which ends in 2024. Citing “the pandemic and other circumstances of life ”, Champagne leaves the district and will no longer be eligible to serve.
“It has been an honor to serve this district for the past 11 years. I am proud of all that we have accomplished during this time, ”said Champagne in the letter. “I think that with a very effective board of directors and a great superintendent, the district has been in the best position for many years and our students are already benefiting.”
Champagne was elected to the Ypsilanti Public School Board of Trustees in 2010, serving for two years before the merger of Willow Run and Ypsilanti in 2012. Although Champagne was not on the appointed board of trustees for a two-year period, she was ultimately re-elected to a four-year term when seats reopened in 2014. She had been elected to a six-year term in 2018.
The district amalgamation was essential to the survival of “a good public school option in this part of the county,” Champagne said, noting that she was proud to have been a part of it. The most recent district leadership team, she said, has YCS positioned to do good things in the future.
“With the stewardship of the council and the superintendent, the support of the community with the sinking fund and performance contracts, the district is on the best financial footing that it has been since I started in 2010,” he said. she declared. “The board of directors putting in place great leaders has changed the trajectory of the district and I am proud of this work and the current position of the district. “
Board members shared memories of Champagne’s love for the district, her efforts to help with its merger, and her “shameless” pro-union outlook.
“She’s always been very pro union and really brought that focus to a lot of the interactions we’ve had,” said administrator Meredith Schindler.
“I hope that whoever we have to replace her is also very pro union, because he is a very important piece of this puzzle.”
Champagne’s experience and institutional knowledge of the district’s history have made her an asset to the board throughout her tenure, said board chair Celeste Hawkins.
“His commitment has left an indelible mark on this school district and we are very grateful for his commitment to this community – our students, teachers, staff and the district as a whole,” said Hawkins. “We wish her good luck and she will be missed.”
The district has 30 days to appoint new members after resignation.
After interviews with the candidates on Oct. 18, Hawkins said emails would be sent to candidates with the council’s decision the next day.
On October 25, the board of directors invites the candidate it has selected to its meeting to vote on their approval, followed by the swearing-in on October 27.
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