Ann Arbor Public Schools
Superintendent Search Information
Dr. Jeanice Swift was selected as Superintendent of Schools on July 19, 2013.
Dr. Swift comes to us from a school district in Colorado Springs, CO, where she served as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Curriculum and Student Services. Dr. Swift is eager to begin her life here in Ann Arbor and plans to be here ready for the first day of school. We are excited to bring such a talented individual to lead our District and hope you will join us in welcoming her. Click here to download her tentative 90-day entry plan.
A note from Dr. Swift:
I am extremely honored to have been chosen to serve as the Superintendent of Ann
Arbor Public Schools and am delighted to begin a streamlined process to transition to
I want to thank the Board of Education and all those from the AAPS community and staff
who participated in the selection process for their investment of time in making such an
important decision for the Ann Arbor community on behalf of the children of Ann Arbor
Also, I thank the quality Ann Arbor Public Schools staff, under the leadership of Interim
Superintendent, Mr. Comsa, for the excellent work they are completing this summer in
order to ensure that we are well-prepared for each of our 16,500 students who will arrive
to begin school year 2013-2014 in only 32 days.
I look forward to arriving in Ann Arbor soon, meeting and engaging face-to-face with the
students, families, and community as well as beginning work alongside the Ann Arbor
Public Schools School Board of trustees and staff.
Trustees selected 2 candidates to bring forward for site visits and final interviews. Dr. Jeanice Swift of Colorado Springs, CO, and Dr. Brian Osborne of Newark, NJ.
On 7/11 and 7/12, Trustees Thomas and Baskett visited the candidates' home school district to meet with staff, board members and community leaders.
Jeanice Kerr Swift, Ph.D.
Jeanice Kerr Swift, Ph.D. is a lifetime educator, having served twenty-five years as classroom teacher, teacher coach, principal, and district administrator. She currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Curriculum, and Student Services in Colorado Springs School District 11. Dr. Swift works as a passionate advocate for children, believing each child’s unique talents should be leveraged to meet high expectations for learning and ensure success beyond graduation.
Dr. Swift delights in working alongside teachers, support staff, and leaders to improve student performance. As principal of Charles M. Russell Middle School of the Performing Arts and Science, the school was designated a National Trailblazer School to Watch and received the Governor’s Distinguished Achievement award for improved student achievement.
As a district administrator, Dr. Swift has led improvement efforts focused on teaching and learning, and, along with the Colorado Springs team, has achieved improved student performance outcomes. Under Dr. Swift’s leadership, School District 11 recently received the Rising Star Award from MIND Research Institute for exemplary implementation of math programming resulting in improved elementary math achievement.
Jeanice Swift earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education, with a major in English and a minor in Spanish, at the University of Texas, Arlington. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Colorado and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership at the University of Denver.
Dr. Swift believes that every child deserves a quality education and is committed to extending and enhancing the excellence for which Ann Arbor Public Schools is already known.
Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D.
Dr. Brian G. Osborne has led for six years as superintendent of schools in South Orange and Maplewood School District, New Jersey, a diverse and thriving district of 6,760 students in six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Through his passionate commitment to all students, the district has increased student learning, expanded arts and enrichment programming, reduced achievement gaps, enhanced the use of technology, improved curricular rigor, instituted full day kindergarten, and deepened community and family engagement. During the economic recession, the district decreased the yearly tax impact while increasing educational opportunities and improving student learning.
Dr. Osborne served at the executive level in the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation, for four years as Chief of Staff for Teaching and Learning. There he led a central division of 400 employees and over $200M, including offices responsible for curriculum and professional development, instructional technology, secondary school reform, assessment and accountability, English language learners, special education, and parent engagement. Dr. Osborne coordinated strategic support for 1300+ schools, serving 1.1M students with over 80,000 teachers. He established citywide strategy for academic intervention, including Saturday Prep Academy. Before being promoted to Chief of Staff, Dr. Osborne was the Director of Instructional Technology, initiating mobile wireless tablet computing to school-based instructional coaches, and ground-breaking 1:1 student computing in 20 middle schools.
Dr. Osborne began his career in education as a fifth grade bilingual (Spanish) teacher and then cofounded a public high school in the South Bronx that dramatically improved graduation and college matriculation rates. He has also served in district leadership roles in Plainfield, New Jersey.
Throughout his career, Dr. Osborne has increased student learning while reducing achievement gaps and expanding extracurricular and enrichment opportunities for all students.
Dr. Osborne earned a doctorate in education as well as a master’s in education in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds a master’s in teaching of mathematics from New York University, and a bachelor’s of arts in philosophy and religion from Colgate University. He speaks Spanish and has lived and traveled in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
Brian and his wife, Karen, have two daughters, ages 10 and 7
INTERVIEW OF SEMI-FINALISTS
At the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education held on June 26, 2013, six semi-finalists were selected to interview for AAPS Superintendent.
Interviews were held at the Courtyard Marriott, 3205 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI as follows:
Monday, July 8:
10:00 am - Jeanice Swift
12:30 pm - Brian Osborne
3:00 pm - Richard Faidley
Tuesday, July 9:
8:00 am - Henry Hastings
10:30 am - Sandra Harris
1:00 pm - Benjamin Edmondson
Interviews were open to the public but not for public participation. The Board met after the final interview to deliberate and select the finalists to move forward for final interviews on July 15 and 16.
Benamin Edmondson, Ph.D.
Dr. Benjamin Edmondson is an alumnus of The University of Virginia, The Ohio State University, and Eastern Michigan University. He earned an undergraduate Bachelor Degree in Sociology in 1991; in 1992, he was awarded a Master Degree in Educational Theory and Practice from The Ohio State University, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in 2006. His dissertation, The Effects of Parental Involvement and Small Class Sizes on the Academic Achievement Gap, earned two prestigious awards, the George Brower Award for Excellence in Education from Eastern Michigan University and an Outstanding Dissertation from the International Society for Educational Planning. His research findings were not only presented to world-renowned professors and public school educators at an educational conference in Bologna, Italy but are now also utilized in his everyday practices as an instructional leader. His career focus is students’ academic success with an expertise in the achievement disparities between racial subgroups. Dr. Edmondson has been known to electrify public schools through forward thinking and processes.
His professional career began in 1992 when he took his first teaching position as a fifth grade teacher of an all-black male classroom in Baltimore City (MD) Public Schools. From 1993 – 1995, he returned back to his native New Jersey and taught middle school math and English at his alma mater in Centerton. From 1996 – 1999, he taught fifth grade in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2000, Wayne-Westland Community Schools hired him as an assistant principal at John Glenn High School. Within six months, he was promoted to principal of David Hicks Elementary School, in Inkster, Michigan, which at the time was the most troubled and lowest performing schools in Wayne-Westland Community Schools. In his three-year tenure, the school thrived culminating in being recognized as a Golden Apple School, an honor presented by the Governor for schools achieving three straight years of success on the M.E.A.P. test.
In his nine years serving the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Dr. Edmondson remains engaged in and outside of the professional community. He actively served on the District Equity Leadership Team (DELT) since its inception in 2005; served on the negotiating team for the Board of Education during the AAEA and AAEA-OP contract openers; served on the Middle School Restructuring team; helped institute a step team in the AAPS middle schools; co-developed and implemented the Academic Society at Scarlett; created and developed Hip Hop Explosion at EMU, a scholarship event since 2000; he recently served on the principals’ negotiating team and holds an Executive Board position. He candidly and openly supports his fraternity’s (Alpha Phi Alpha) commitment to Go to High School, Go to College initiative and also volunteers his time at the Reddeman Farms Junior Golf Program. Under his leadership and research expertise, while serving in several principal positions in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, schools have seen significant reductions in the black-white achievement gap, improved school and home communications, created a greater sense of “community,” and been lead out of cyclical dysfunction. Based on his research expertise that has been presented at national, international and State conventions, he is considered an authority on the topic of the academic achievement gap. He founded his own educational consultant company that continues to work with school districts in finding their own ways to alleviate the dubious distinction plaguing most school districts.
Leadership is among his greatest assets and has been noted in The Wayne Observer, Ann Arbor Observer, The Ann Arbor News, and Ann Arbor.com who recognized Dr. Edmondson with a You.tube article. Following suit, The Detroit Free Press, Occasional Series, highlighted his relationship with one of his students; both the writer and videographer recently earned Michigan Emmy Awards for their journalist portrayal of the bond between the featured student and principal. Similarly, through the unwavering support of the Scarlett Middle School community, the AAPS Board of Education acknowledged his leadership by recognizing him with The Celebration of Excellence Award.
He is now in his 13th year as a principal within three public school districts. In Ann Arbor Public Schools, Dr. Edmondson has served at all levels as an administrator including principal positions at King, Scarlett and Clemente. With the great support of staff, an energized community, and a diligent PTSO, Scarlett Middle School won the University Musical Society’s (UMS) School of the Year, reduced achievement and suspension gaps between African American and Caucasian students, significantly improved the academic culture and climate, lauded with noteworthy news articles, and revitalized its school atmosphere. In four years serving as the principal of Roberto Clemente Student Development Center, with a committed, united staff, improvements in students’ attitudes, attendance, and achievement were maintained and sustained. At-risk students who entered with potentially little promise, found themselves graduating on time, going off to college and finding a great number of other successes under Dr. Edmondson’s tenure and this dedicated staff.
In 2011, Dr. Edmondson passed the six-hour, rigorous, scenario based, Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) national superintendent certification, which has qualified him to serve as a superintendent in all 50 States. He is a member of the 2008 Michigan Leadership Institute’s (MLI), Superintendents Academy that prepares aspirants for the position of superintendent. In superintendent interviews conducted within the past six years and most recently by Ray and Associates, MLI, and Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), he has been a finalist for Adrian Public Schools, Ecorse Public Schools, Westwood Schools and Willingboro Public Schools (NJ). During 21 years serving the K-12 public schools as a teacher, educational consultant, and administrator, Dr. Benjamin Edmondson has been recognized as an exemplary educator known for his intensity, vision, energy, transparency, and tremendous leadership capacity. He is noted for his abilities to empower students, mobilize community members, and develop the talent of staff members, all with a level of respect and high expectations that improved performance standards.
Dr. Edmondson lives comfortably in Canton, Michigan with his two sons, Pierce, age 9 and Harris, age 6 who proudly attend Ann Arbor Public Schools. Nearly all of his personal time is spent playing video and board games, fishing, water skiing, swimming, playing soccer, football, and basketball, working through homework problems and reading bedtime stories with his boys. After he cooks dinner, they sit at the dinner table and talk through any problems they may have in their lives or just laugh at corny jokes. His number one priority in his life is to the development and nurturing of his favorite two little guys who will one day grow up to be contributing men of society.
Richard Faidley, Ed.D.
Dr. Richard Faidley currently serves as Superintendent of Schools for the Derry Township School District in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Dr. Faidley has worked collaboratively with the school and business community to achieve state and national level achievement recognition for the school district. In addition, the Derry Township School District has been recognized as one of six school districts in Pennsylvania for its financial excellence and triple A bond rating by Standard and Poors. Immediately prior to coming to Derry Township School District, Dr. Faidley served as an associate Superintendent for Yuma Union High School District, which serves 11,000 students. Dr. Faidley's experiences as an associate Superintendent included leadership supervision of innovative education programs, facilities and maintenance, new construction, student nutrition, federal programs, technology, purchasing, procurement, transportation, finance, human resources, student services, and mentorship of campus principals.
Sandra J. Harris, Ed.D.
Dr. Harris became an educational consultant after retiring as the Superintendent of the Oak Park School District in Oak Park, Michigan. She also served as the Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent at Lincoln Consolidated Schools. She began her professional career in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, where she worked as a teacher, Vocational Coordinator, Assistant Principal, and Personnel Director.
Dr. Harris is the recipient of several degrees, which include a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education, a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling, an Education Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership. She earned all of her degrees from Eastern Michigan University.
Dr. Harris has served in numerous professional organizations. She was previously affiliated with the Michigan Association of School Administrators Council, Michigan Association of School Personnel Administrators, and the Teacher Education Advisory Board for Eastern Michigan University, to name a few. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies, the Cornerstone Development Authority in Southfield, the Oak Park Business and Education Alliance, and the Teacher Education Advisory Board for Baker College in Auburn Hills. She is also active with the Michigan Association of School Administrators and the Michigan Association of School Boards.
Dr. Harris is also known for her participation and involvement in civic organizations. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Ann Arbor Community Center and the Huron Valley Girl Scout Council. She has been a member of the Human Rights Commission for the City of Ann Arbor and she was a City Ambassador to Dakar, Senegal. She is currently a member of the Law Enforcement – Citizens Advisory Board for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department.
Dr. Harris also works diligently in public service organizations. She is currently a member of the Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links, Inc., and she is an area officer for that organization. She is also active with the Ann Arbor Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she currently serves as President.
Dr. Harris is the recipient of several awards, with the most recent being the Women of Achievement Award given by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. She was also the recipient of the Women of Distinction Award given by the Girl Scouts of the Huron Valley Council, and the Most Influential Women Award presented by Business Direct Weekly. She also received the Outstanding Professional Educator Award from the Ann Arbor Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club and she was a recipient of the “Women of Courage – Women of Change” award from the Minerva Educational Development Foundation, which is affiliated with the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Harris was an exchange student to Berkshire College of Education in Reading, England, as well as she was a delegate with other vocational educators who visited China to meet with Chinese officials and educators.
Dr. Harris loves to read and travel. She is also an avid walker. Dr. Harris enjoys giving speeches, especially to youth groups.
Henry J. Hastings, J.D., Ed.D.
Dr. Henry J. Hastings is a full time lecturer in the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University. He teaches the Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, an Honors section, International Business Ethics, and the Legal Environment of Nonprofit Organizations. Dr. Hastings received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and his doctorate in Educational Foundations and Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. During the course of his professional career Dr. Hastings has been a high school teacher, an assistant prosecuting attorney, an education advisor for the Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy, founding director of the Michigan Institute for Safe Schools and Communities, and a successful businessman and practicing attorney.
Ray & Associates Search Firm Consultant Contract(pdf) - Firm selected to perform the Superintendent Search