Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools School Board Election: Candidate Background Information

Below, you will find my first foray into the Ypsilanti school board candidates in the upcoming election. There will be more to come, and as I add information, some of it will be added in separate posts, but this will be the "source post." By which I mean, come to this post and you should find links to the information that you need.

You might recall that in the same election in which the Willow Run and Ypsilanti districts consolidated, the voters voted on Ypsilanti and Willow Run school board candidates--in case the consolidation didn't go through. But it did go through, and as a result, the WISD appointed the current school board. So this will be the very first election for the Ypsilanti Community Schools!

Six of the seven incumbents are running together (although they don't call themselves a slate, they have one web site so I think I would call them a slate):

Another group of five candidates that is running together is: Meredith Schindler, Sharon Irvine, Ellen Champagne, Bill Kurkjian, and K.J. Miller. They will be having a meet and greet on October 16th, 7 p.m. at the Arbor Brewing Microbrewery (formerly the Corner).

NOTE: Ypsilanti Community School Board Candidates Forum, 
sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Fora Better Ypsi, 
was held on October 13th.

WEMU Coverage here. (You can listen to the audio of the forum.)

Mlive Coverage here.

Four Candidates for Two Six-Year Terms

Ypsilanti Community Schools - Board Member - 6-Year Term

Vote for two

MLive Candidate Comparisons: As of 10/14/2014, Gregory Myers had not responded to the survey.

NameMailing AddressPhoneE-mail
Brenda Meadows410 N. Harris Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Maria Sheler-Edwards51 Colony Ct.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Gregory Myers1219 Stamford Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Bill Kurkjian405 Oak St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Bill Kurkjian:

Brenda Meadows:

Gregory Myers:

Maria Sheler-Edwards:

Eight Candidates for Three Four-Year Terms

Ypsilanti Community Schools - Board Member - 4-Year Term

Vote for three

MLive Candidate Comparisons: As of 10/14/14, Linda Snedecar-Horne had not responded to the survey.

NameMailing AddressPhoneE-mail
Anthony VanDerworp1309 Kingwood
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
David R. Bates1208 Pearl St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Djeneba Cherif948 Jefferson St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Celeste Hawkins2399 Draper Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Linda Snedacar-Horne205 Oak St. #1
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Ellen Champagne12 N. Wallace Blvd. #1
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Sharon Irvine2411 Burns
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Mark Wilde1707 Hamlet
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Anthony Vanderworp:

Celeste Hawkins:

David Bates:

Djeneba Cherif:

Ellen Champagne:

Linda Snedecar-Horne:

Mark Wilde:

Sharon Irvine:

Six Candidates for Two Two-Year Terms

Ypsilanti Community Schools - Board Member - 2-Year Term

Vote for two

MLive Candidate Comparisons As of 10/14/2014, Don Garrett Jr. and Ricky Jefferson had not responded to the survey.

NameMailing AddressPhoneE-mail
Daniel L. Raglin6825 Textile Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Don L. Garrett Jr.1369 Stamford Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
K.J. Miller405 Oak St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Sharon Lee577 Desoto Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Ricky Jefferson211 W. Ainsworth
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Meredith Schindler305 Maple St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Sharon Lee: Important Note--Sharon Lee has withdrawn her candidacy due to illness. She will remain on the ballot but she asks you to vote for two other candidates who would actually be able to devote the time and energy to the position. I hope she has a speedy recovery!

K.J. Miller:


  1. Sharon Irvine was quoted in Mlive articles several times during the budget crisis leading to consolidations as saying that Ypsi schools were "forced" to hire/hireback special ed staff, in order to be in compliance. I think that word choice made her attitude towards students with special needs very clear. She was head of HR at the time.

    1. In the spring of 2012, in an effort to move to a Zero-Based budgeting model, and to control spending, district administration chose to reduce special education staff with the intent to add back as our needs for the fall became evident. In the fall of 2012, the media asked about our progress in budgeting, especially in light of increased staffing. The explanation was given in this context.

      Please know that you and I share a mutual concern for the well-being of all of our students, including those with special needs. My attitude towards students can be best understood in the context of my role as a principal, where I advocated daily on their behalf. As an HR director, my support for special needs students was demonstrated by ensuring proper staffing to meet the needs of students as they were established through the IEP process. We had a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to provide this support. In the context of a budget crisis, when asked to account for expenditures, this is an important piece of information to justify the allocation of our resources.