Superintendent Search Update - March 21st

  • Dear Ann Arbor Public Schools Community,

    As the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education, we are committed to providing a world-class education that prepares our students for success and careers. 

    At our Wednesday, March 20, meeting, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education voted to name Interim Superintendent Jazz Parks as our next superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools. Ms. Parks will assume the leadership post immediately, pending finalization of the contract.

    We are genuinely excited to have Ms. Parks, with her 16 years of experience in Ann Arbor Public Schools, take over as the leader of our incredible district. Ms. Parks was selected from an impressive field of six qualified candidates, and we appreciate all our applicants for their passion, thoughtfulness, and experience.

    Ms. Parks has amassed a number of incredible accomplishments, including:

    • Coached and supported the majority of the district’s comprehensive middle schools to become National Schools to Watch
    • Represented AAPS in coordinating the Equity Professional Development Series in collaboration with the county on equity, cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, belonging, social justice and anti-racism
    • Supported the district's K-8 and middle schools
    •  Re-engaged and facilitated the District Equity Leadership Team and provided professional development to school and district staff on equity, cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, belonging, social justice and anti-racism
    •  Provided leadership, assistance, coaching and support to school and district leaders
    • Facilitated the development of the initial draft of the district equity plan and ensured alignment with the district’s strategic plan
    • Re-established the District Crisis Response Team and realigned processes and protocols to assist school and district teams in managing the increased need for crisis and mental health support for students 
    • Served as President of the Ann Arbor Administrators Association and the Ann Arbor Black Administrators Association


    Also on Wednesday, the Board passed an amended resolution to authorize our new Superintendent to send notice of layoff to those employees in the ASCSA Coordinators and Supervisors Bargaining Unit, if determined necessary, as we continue the process of bringing our budget in line with projections. Please see Interim Superintendent Park’s recent statement and FAQ document regarding additional measures we are taking to reduce costs and conserve resources.

    This Board vote was a painful yet necessary step toward addressing multi-year budget shortfalls due to a number of factors including a decline in student enrollment over the last several years coupled with increases to our staff and well-deserved compensation increases for our amazing team of world-class educators.

    The Board continues to work with district leadership as we seek to cut approximately $25 million from the 2024-25 operating budget to meet fund balance requirements set by state law and our board policy.

    As we navigate these challenges, we look forward to working with Superintendent Parks as she leads our district through this period. Board members remain committed to supporting Superintendent Parks to make decisions with transparency, compassion and integrity with the number one goal of minimizing impacts on our students and school community.

    In addition, we have asked Superintendent Parks to bring us a comprehensive marketing and student attraction and retention plan to begin rebuilding our student enrollment numbers.

    Ann Arbor Public Schools are consistently ranked among the best in the nation and that will continue despite our current challenges.  The exceptional education we provide to our students has made us a model for others to emulate.

    I want to personally thank our staff and community members for rallying around our schools at this challenging time. Like our new Superintendent and many of you, I am confident we will emerge from these challenges a stronger district poised for continued success, growth and student achievement.


    Torchio Feaster

    Board President

    Ann Arbor Public Schools

    Board of Education