April 2, 2014
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor Public Schools announced the principal of the new K-8 STEAM school that’s opening at Northside this fall, and she couldn’t be a better fit.
Current Allen Elementary Principal Joan Fitzgibbon has twenty years with the district, a math and science teaching background and experience leading both elementary and middle schools.
“It is a great day in the Ann Arbor Public Schools and it is my honor to welcome Ms. Fitzgibbon as the new leader of the AAPS K-8 STEAM program,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift. “Ms. Fitzgibbon clearly is the right professional to lead this innovative new program for the Ann Arbor district. She has the desire to make a difference in education by creating a caring, creative and collaborative school community for students, parents and staff.”
So what attracted Fitzgibbon to the new STEAM program? “I like the concept of K-8,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of leadership opportunities for the middle school kids and opportunities for peer mentoring and working collaboratively.”
Fitzgibbon taught math and science for ten years at Tappan Middle School, where she also developed the student planning center. She was an assistant principal at Wylie Elementary School and then Mills Creek Middle School in Dexter before she returned to AAPS as principal of Allen Elementary.
She’s been at Allen for 11 years. “It’s a great community of parents and kids. I have a top notch staff. So I’m going to miss all of it,” she said. “It’s really a wonderful school.”
Fitzgibbon is looking forward to opening the K-8 STEAM program this fall. “It’s going to be a great program for Ann Arbor and for bringing in lots of kids, whether they’re from AAPS or outside of the district,” she said. “It’ll also help us partner with the business community and connect careers to the classroom. I’m really excited about this opportunity.”