Below: About the new superintendent
Following is a letter to the AAPS community from Dr. Patricia Green, who starts as the district’s new superintendent on July 1:
Dear Ann Arbor Public Schools Staff, Families and Community Members,
Shortly, I will be joining the Ann Arbor Public Schools, a district that has demonstrated its ability to inspire the imagination of young minds and to open young eyes to the world beyond their normal, everyday experience. Ann Arbor is a district that enables children of all ages to develop curiosity and resourcefulness, to care for others and to create their place in a world of tremendous, global change.
Ann Arbor is a special community and I am enormously proud to join its heritage of excellence. Throughout my career, I have always believed in the concept of “Great Expectations … The Best Is Yet To Come!” in which all community members join together with the highest of expectations and strive to create the best world in which our children can learn and grow.
As educators, our children sense our expectations intuitively. A knowing glance, a raised eyebrow, a smile of encouragement, all bring meaning to a child no matter what their age. Each of us in a school community plays a dynamic role, whether we actively realize it or not, in helping our children develop the critical skills needed to create and achieve a vision for their lives. The skillful balance between academics, the arts, athletics as well as social and emotional learning help our children become caring, scholarly individuals today and in their future years.
As I prepare to join the district in July, it is clear to me that Ann Arbor Public Schools is bound together by its educational workforce and its committed and dedicated community in a constant quest for excellence. When a school district and a school community embrace great expectations together, we all help our children construct meaning from the world they inhabit today, as well as help them dream of the possibilities for the future world that they will create.
There will always be challenges, but when we join together to help children create a portrait of their possibilities from a productive, school-community experience, we enable young minds to capture the spirit of who they are and what they can achieve.
As we look toward the 2011-12 school year, let’s unleash the power of “possibility thinking” for our children, because to see a child is to see the possibilities of the future. With great expectations, the best is yet to come for all of them.
I am looking forward to being a part of this exceptional school district.
Dr. Patricia P. Green
New superintendent arrives from similar role in Pennsylvania
From AAPSNews Service
Dr. Patricia Pataky Green will join the Ann Arbor Public Schools on July 1 as the district’s new Superintendent of Schools.
Green has a five-year contract with the district, giving her the responsibilities for overseeing all education programs in the district. She is charged with maintaining and improving the quality of education and operations of the district. The school board selected her in March.
Green most recently served as superintendent of North Allegheny School District in Pennsylvania and also served as Acting Deputy Superintendent for Instruction for the Prince George’s County Public Schools, a large district in Maryland.
Before coming to Ann Arbor, she spoke about parent involvement, leadership, diversity and her philosophy on education.
Green said she advocates strong parent involvement and said that in her current role, she hosts a series of superintendent-parent committee meetings. “They set the agenda,” she said. “We’ve changed things based on the passion of the community. Sometimes as leaders we have to sit down and listen.”
She notes that a good superintendent needs input from a variety of sources to be successful. “You don’t do things in isolation,” she added. “You reach out for partnerships.” Green said in her current role, she has a variety of advisory committees in place, including ones with local police and ministerial groups. She also hosts a regular dinner for student leaders.
In the area of equity, diversity and global awareness, Green said a school district must celebrate each student and community member and what they bring to the system and must prepare students to be citizens of the world. “It has to come from the leadership of the school district and it has to be valued,” she said. “We must celebrate what you are, what you bring to the table. And we have to prepare students for their world of the future – not our world of the past.”
She said good leaders should have “kaleidoscopic vision,” including many opinions and viewpoints. A good leader also needs to know when to step forward and when to step back and allow others to take the lead, she said. “Some pieces look different depending on how you turn the lens,” Green said of her philosophy. “It looks different with new information.”
When asked for her definition of an exemplary school, Green said it is one that is “child-centered and has a high expectation for success” and one that brings arts, athletics and academics together for a well-rounded experience. “I’ve always focused on what’s best for the child with academics to match,” she said.
In terms of budget issues, she said those are the toughest things for a superintendent to tackle. “It’s a challenge across America,” she said. Green noted that she always puts academics and children first and advocates “using a scalpel, not a machete” in making cuts. She also said she advocates cutting, not eliminating programs, because “once you eliminate good programs, they rarely, if ever, come back.”
Green has served in her current post in the North Allegheny School District since May 2002. She has experience on national, state and local levels in the areas of instructional leadership, administrative and organizational management, labor management, instructional improvement and issues of diversity and multiculturalism. A main focus under her leadership in North Allegheny has been work on the district’s Strategic Plan – something that the Ann Arbor Public Schools community has used in operating the district since 2007.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, a Master of Education degree in Human Development Education from the University of Maryland’s Institute for Child Study, and a doctorate in Education Policy, Planning, and Administration from the University of Maryland.
Prior to her superintendent positions, she has worked as a teacher, principal, elementary administrator, assistant superintendent and served an administrative role in special education and pupil services.
Green has been married for 35 years to Dr. Stephen I. Green, a periodontist.
During a visit to the Ann Arbor schools last spring, Green said she enjoyed meeting staff and students. “The best part of today was talking to the kids,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about, folks. It’s about the kids. They have so much to offer … having their voice spoken often.”
The new superintendent replaces Interim Superintendent Robert Allen, who has served in the post since fall; he is the district’s operations and finance chief. Previous Superintendent Todd Roberts left his Ann Arbor post last fall for an executive education position in North Carolina.