Deb Mexicotte

Deb Mexicotte Campaign

My Commitment

I will work to continue our traditions of academic excellence, award-winning arts, magnet and vocational programs, outstanding business and University partnerships and exceptional athletic and co-curricular opportunities for all our students while meeting the many challenges facing public education.

During my 13 year tenure as an Ann Arbor Board of Education Trustee I have:

To Make a Campaign Contribution See Below!

Focused on Student Achievement

I believe we must create the best educational environment in our district to ensure students achieve to their maximum potential. Academic achievement for all our students has improved substantially, with the greatest improvements realized by our under-represented minority students, students receiving special education services and socio-economically disadvantaged students.

We have made significant gains in closing long-standing disparities between academic achievement through improved teaching and learning practice, enriched curriculum and innovative programming, and an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement.

Demonstrated Leadership

I have been elected President of the AAPS Board of Education by my fellow Trustees every year since 2009. I have also served as Vice President, Secretary, Parliamentarian, and the Chair of the Performance and Governance Committees, as the founding chair of the Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education (AAPAC) and I am a Certified Board Member with the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB).

I have also served a term as the Chair of the Arts Alliance, a county-wide arts consortium, am an active member in the national professional organizations Arts Administrators in Higher Education (AAHE) and the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru). I have also been active at the Forestbrooke Athletic Club, my neighborhood pool and swim team.

Provided Strong Financial Stewardship

I have participated in the passage of 13 balanced district budgets during some of the most challenging financial periods ever facing our district. Despite the chronic under-funding of public education, we have succeeded in expanding and enhancing our academic programs, avoiding teacher and staff layoffs, and maintaining adequate fund balance to maintain district solvency.

In partnership with our community through philanthropy, ballot initiatives and active revenue creation and recovery we have substantially increased financial support for our academic and vocational programs, technology, transportation, services for students with disabilities, and preschool initiatives, and have added substantially to our district enrollment and fund balance the last few years.

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Biography

I am a lifelong Michigander, having grown up in and around Detroit. I attended high school in Oak Park and received my B.F.A. in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and my MA in Theatre Design from the University of Michigan.

I currently am the Associate Director of ArtsEngine, an interdisciplinary initiative supported by the four North Campus “maker” schools and colleges at the University of Michigan – Engineering, Art & Design, School of Music, Theatre and Dance and Architecture. Previously I was the Program Director for Arts at Michigan and have spent nearly 25 years working with students and student organizations in the arts, leadership and development. I have also worked as the Facilities Coordinator at the Student Theatre Arts Complex, the Director of Arts and Programs at the Michigan Union, the Program Coordinator for the 2001 Ann Arbor Pow Wow, and the Office and Program Manager for the Office of Student Activities and Leadership.

I have been married to my partner, Brian, for 35 years , and we have three children – Olivia, Fletcher and Elinor - all of whom graduated from the Ann Arbor Public Schools, having received an excellent education! We also added Juli, our German exchange student to our family in 2009. Our home schools are Pittsfield Elementary, Scarlett Middle School and Huron High School, but my children have also attended Ann Arbor Open, Clague Middle School, Pioneer High School and WISD Young Adult Programs – giving our family a broad experience among the schools and programs within the district.

I joined the Ann Arbor Board of Education in 2003, and have been re-elected to three additional terms of service since then. I served as the Parent Representative to the AAPS Redistricting Committee for Pittsfield Elementary in 1996 and for Scarlett Middle School to the Middle School Review Committee in 1998. I was a founding member and chair of the Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education and have served as a BOE representative on the Recreation Advisory Committee, the Transportation Safety Committee and the AAPS Strategic Planning Committee in 2005. My community activities have included a term chairing the Arts Alliance for Washtenaw County and in numerous roles as a long time Board member at Forestbrooke Athletic Club.

Student Focused Accomplishments During My Tenure

Students

    Academic/Co-Curricular

  • Planning, expansion and full enrollment at our new K-8 S.T.E.A.M at Northside district and magnet school
  • Final year of 3-year accreditation process for K-12 International Baccalaureate program at Mitchell/Scarlett/Huron
  • Implementation of expanded district-wide World Language strands K-12, including Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and American Sign Language
  • Implementation of Project Lead the Way, a nationally recognized project-based curriculum at all schools and all levels
  • Expanded opportunities for alternative high school and career education through our comprehensive Pathways to Success campus
  • District high schools are ranked in the top 6% of the State in all key academic areas, and rank in the top 1% in multiple areas
  • Average SAT scores for all four traditional high schools in the top 20 in the state
  • 80% of district graduates go on to 2 or 4 year colleges, with a significant number attending the very best programs every year
  • Differences in achievement between our highest performing students and our lower performing students have been closed significantly, while raising academic performance overall
  • District teams consistently perform and excel at the State and National level in the areas of Athletics, Science, Robotics, Homebuilding, Business, Forensics, Mock Trial, Poetry Slam, Theatre, Journalism, Knowledge Master, Chess, Art, and Music. Among these, National Grammys for High School Music have been awarded to Huron and Pioneer and Pulitzer Prizes for High School Journalism have been awarded to Community High School

Planning

Strategic/Policy

  • District-wide AAPS Strategic Plan reflecting our community’s educational values and aspirations was implemented, forming a foundation for personalized learning, global standards, and innovation in teaching and learning. Update of this plan is scheduled for 2016-2017 academic year
  • District-wide Young 5’s, all-day kindergarten programs and integrated Early Childhood and Preschool education with local resources and dedicated facilities
  • The Discipline Gap Plan has been employed to address lingering disparities and maintain students in class and in school through Positive Behavior Support and the addition of a dedicated group of in-school Behavioral Specialists.
  • The Board updated district policy to include:
  • -Comprehensive Wellness and Nutrition Guideline

    -More Inclusive Non-Discrimination policies

    -Stronger Anti-Bullying policies

    -Multiple Access and Educational Equity policies

    -More Specific Non-Harassment policies

Partnerships

    Educational/Business

  • Zingerman’s Career Intern Program at Pathways to Success
  • Scarlett/Mitchell Initiative and Elementary World Language Program – UM School of Education
  • Rising Scholars – UM Center for Academic Outreach
  • Classroom Teacher Grants and Targeted Giving programs – Ann Arbor Educational Foundation (APSEF)
  • Disability Awareness Workshops – Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education (AAPAC)
  • Transportation and Student Grant Support– PTO Thrift Shop
  • A2 Business Leadership Academy – Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce/AAPSEF
  • Partners for Excellence - Ann Arbor Business Community
  • Student Homebuilders Program- Washtenaw Homebuilders Association
  • College Scholarship Programs – Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Ann Arbor
  • Project Healthy Schools – UM Health System
  • Countywide International Baccalaureate Program

Financial

    Budget/Revenue

  • Approved and implemented balanced district budgets every year since 2003
  • Worked to pass the 2015 county-wide millage that increased support for Special Education in Ann Arbor by 11 million per year
  • Increased district fund balance by 4 million dollars over last 2 years
  • Passed annual audits with the highest ratings for compliance and best practices
  • Awarded $1.6 million from the State for financial best practices – 2011
  • Increased overall district grant funding
  • Received Sunshine Award for Website Transparency from the Sunshine Foundation 2011
  • Encouraged and obtained community financial support for Special Education, Technology and the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan
  • Worked with local Downtown Development Authorities to maximize revenue flow toward the district
  • Partnered with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to recover appropriate Federal Medicaid reimbursements and to distribute Special Education millage revenue to districts throughout the county

Facilities

    Buildings/Energy

  • Expanded Mitchell Elementary to accommodate first substantial increase in students at that school in response to International Baccalaureate program enrollment
  • Placed successful bond funding on the ballot in 2015 that increased support for playground, facilities and classroom improvements by 33 million dollars without raising the overall tax rate
  • Implementing the district-wide Energy Awareness and Sustainability Education (EASE) program has significantly lowered energy costs every year while saving significant operating dollars
  • Partnering with the Center for Independent Living (CIL) has led to ADA improvements to sidewalks, classroom furniture, parking lots, transportation, and building access
  • Completing the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan resulted in infrastructure and technology improvements in all 33 of our buildings and the addition of new facilities:
  • -Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center

    -Skyline High School (awarded for design and LEED - Silver Certification)

    -Huron High School Black Box Theatre

  • Management of district Sinking Funds have regularly maintained and improved all our facilities as needed

Innovation

    Technology/Career

  • Placed successful Tech Bond funding on the ballot in 2014 that increased support for computer, network and technology upgrades
  • Implemented the online Powerschool portal, improving communication between teachers, students and parents while streamlining academic record keeping
  • Expanded of the Options Program allowing an larger number of students to take online classes every year
  • Created and expanded the Summer Learning Institute, extending learning opportunities for elementary students
  • Instituted Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES) labs in all our secondary schools for vocational support for special needs students
  • Creation of the Skyline Magnet Programs in Health/Medicine, Business/Marketing, Communications/Media and Design/Technology
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Supporters

I am proud to be able to count these individuals and organizations among the supporters of my campaign, and appreciate their willingness to be publicly acknowledged.

-John and Jocelyn Blaufuss

-JoAnn Emmendorfer and Mario Brennan

-Brian, Olivia, Fletcher and Elinor Chambers

-Jim Egan and Janice Skadsen

-Joe and Emily Levickas

-Donna Lasinski

-Simone Lightfoot

-Glenn Nelson and Margaret Dewar

-Jack Panitch

-Christine, Jim, Conleth and Aidan Stead

-Andy Thomas

-Marian Perez

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Volunteer

There are so many ways I could use your help in my campaign, aside from making a financial contribution! Displaying a yard sign, helping with a mailing, reaching out to friends and neighbors or hosting a small fundraising gathering are the kinds of efforts that are fundamental to a successful election outcome. Please consider if you might be able to help in any of these other ways, and I appreciate your time and effort on my campaign’s behalf. Thank you!

Contribute

If you believe in the work we have done, and need to continue to do on the Ann Arbor Board of Education to keep our district strong, please consider a financial contribution to my campaign. Your contributions are not tax-deductible, but are much appreciated!

Note: State law requires persons making a contribution of $100 or more to list their Employer and Employer's Address with their information.

Mailing a Contribution?

Make Checks Payable to:

The Committee to Elect Debra Mexicotte

Mail Checks to:

The Committee to Elect Debra Mexicotte

c/o Committee Treasurer

2660 Yost Blvd.

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Get in Touch

Please let me know what you are thinking, ask any questions you may have, or otherwise get in touch with me by filling out the form below. I will get back to you as soon as possible and I appreciate your input and interest in our district and in my campaign!

Fill out my online form.
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