Ben Edmondson to step down as Ypsilanti Community Schools superintendent

According to MLive’s Lauren Fitch-Slagter, Dr. Ben Edmondson, the superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools, seen above talking with me on the Saturday Six Pack back in 2016, is going to be stepping down in mid-October. Given that the school year is set to begin in less than a month, I’m inclined to say that this doesn’t bode well for the district, but I suppose it’s possible that this has been in the works for some time. Regardless of how it went down, here’s hoping that Edmondson lands on his feet, and the district finds a qualified candidate who can build on the momentum of the past several years.

update: The following message was just sent out from YCS board member Maria Sheler-Edwards:

On Tuesday, July 17, Superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson submitted notice of his resignation to the school board, effective 90 days from that date. The Board of Education is grateful to Dr. Edmondson for his work on behalf of Ypsilanti Community Schools, and for his commitment to our students, teachers, staff, and administrators. He has forged strong relationships with the community and brought a dynamic and exciting spirit to the district. We look forward to building on the strengths of Dr. Edmondson’s work and we wish him the very best in his new ventures. The Board will consider a leadership transition plan at a special meeting that will be announced to the community once scheduled.

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  1. Posted July 23, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Reading through my notes from 2016, when I interviewed Ben, he ended our time on the air together by imploring parents to “be a part of the solution” and return to the district. “Invest in your home town,” he told parents in the audience who send their children elsewhere for school… Then going one step further, he added, “or move.”

  2. Posted July 23, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I should addd that I don’t think it’s any secret that Edmondson’s tenure has had its rocky patches, with him and members of the Board of Education butting heads on a somewhat regular basis. And I believe it was made public some time ago that he had been in the running for another superintendent job. So it’s not exactly a surprise to hear that he’s leaving. And I would assume the Board of Education has a plan in place. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say that it’s likely that YCS Board Member Sharon Irvine, who currently works as Chief Operating Officer of Warren Consolidated Schools, may have an interest in pursuing the position. We shall see.

  3. Posted July 23, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    It is an odd time to leave, mid-Semester.

  4. Iron Lung
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I think that you should bring back the radio show.

    If you don’t, I will.

    Yeah, that’s a threat.

  5. wobblie
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    It is only a matter of time (shorter rather than longer) before YCS goes the way of the Ypsi and Willow Run districts. Like Zulkee (?) before him Edmondson knows where the finances are heading and is getting out before the district is a failure and he is blamed. Public schools for all are so 19th century. In fact I just saw an add for an on-line Michigan public school K-12. The ultimate school of choice, don’t even have to leave home to attend.

  6. Oliva
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    It seems like Sharon I. has been lobbying for the position for a while, which couldn’t have felt great to Dr. E–though at least she seemed to listen to him respectfully. I know I’m not alone in feeling uneasy seeing certain board members’ apparent disrespect for him, which shows on their faces and bodies and is on display at board meetings. I do appreciate the snippet you quoted re. parents supporting their community “or move.” His willingness to say it plainly–and to keep pointing out, and challenging, the sickness and unworkability of the racial and economic disparities that keep certain parts of the county stout and others hurting–has been an important gift to us. I hope enough people accepted the gift and will go forward with the essential work he kept making plain.

  7. anonimal
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I think this might be a #metoo instance being swept under the rug. He’s a good guy, but I heard rumors from some former Ann Arbor coworkers when he was hired (nothing beyond the pale, but not great either). Things catch up to you in positions like this, when some of your bosses obviously want to get rid of you.

  8. Ypsilanti Community Schools
    Posted August 1, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Ypsilanti Community Schools

    Board of Education

    August 1, 2018

    At its meeting on July 30, the Board of Education voted to contract through WISD for an interim superintendent until June 30, 2019. The Board of Education’s vote reflected an interest in conducting a full, comprehensive superintendent search process with the Board of Education elected in November 2018. To ensure the largest pool of candidates in the search process, the search is estimated to begin in early 2019 with an estimated start date of July 1, 2019, for the new superintendent. This vote also reflected a commitment to a smooth and immediate leadership transition to ensure that YCS students, families, and staff experience the best start to the school year.

    The Board of Education is currently considering Alena Zachery-Ross for the interim superintendent position…. The District will be hosting a community opportunity to meet Ms. Zachery-Ross at a Meet and Greet scheduled for Monday, August 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Administration Building. The Board encourages the community’s active participation in the process and welcomes feedback.

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