Burns Park Principal Chuck Hatt retires after 34 years with Ann Arbor Public Schools

An outdoor goodbye party is planned for after school Thursday, June 9

Chuck Hatt, outside Burns Park Elementary this week. Photos by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

How do you say goodbye to Burns Park Principal Chuck Hatt, an exceptionally caring, gifted educator who is retiring after 34 years with AAPS?

Many will do so on Thursday, June 9, from 4:30 to 5:30 at a goodbye bash at the Burns Park flagpole, while others have been sending best wishes as the word has gotten out.

“I am very grateful to the Ann Arbor Public Schools for the wonderful jobs I have had in this school district,” says Hatt. “All of them have been deeply rewarding. I have become friends with many talented and gifted people who have helped me to grow in gratitude for my membership in the human family. I hope that I am remembered as a person who cares deeply for children, families, and educators and who brings fun and compassion to the school families I have been a member of.”

Chuck Hatt, on the third-to-last day of the school year 2022

Hatt earned a degree in history from the University of Houston. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked as a rough-out electrician and then an industrial salesperson relating to the oil business in Houston and Austin, Texas.

In Texas, he met his wife, Vickie, and their three sons were born there. The family moved to Michigan when Hatt decided to become a teacher. He then earned his master’s degree in English/elementary education at Eastern Michigan University.

He taught first grade at Bryant Elementary for five years and fifth grade at Pattengill for five years. He went on to become the district’s literacy demonstration teacher at the following schools at Allen, Mitchell, and Scarlett for a year each, while also working part of the time at the Balas Administration Building.

Hatt then became the District Literacy and Social Studies Coordinator at Balas for 12 years and has served as principal of Burns Park Elementary for the past nine years.

“The empathy and kindness that he showed daily with students and staff is something I will never forget,” says Burns Park Office Professional Kathy Cramer, who has worked with Hatt for eight years.  “Mr. Hatt will be missed!”

He’s not proud or anything. Chuck Hatt looks for the latest picture of his five grandchildren.

Chuck and Vickie Hatt plan to stay in Ann Arbor to be close to their children Chuck and Carolina, Brendan and Erica, and Nathan and Carissa, as well as their five grandchildren: Camila, Henry, Charlie, Gracie, and Nico, who have already begun attending school in the AAPS.

“We will also travel lots and lots,” he says. “I hope to spend more time pursuing photography, kayaking, fishing, and playing the guitar. I will also be looking for the best ways that I can be of service to the community who has given me and my family so much.”

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