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 9 year tenure as an Ann Arbor Board of Education Trustee I have:

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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 three times as President of the AAPS Board of Education by my fellow Trustees. 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 Arts Administrators in Higher Education, a national professional organization, and have held numerous leadership positions at Forestbrooke Athletic Club, my neighborhood pool and swim team.

Provided Strong Financial Stewardship

I have participated in the passage of nine 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. We have needed to make difficult budget cutting classroom decisions, but have kept our focus on channeling resources first and foremost to the classroom.

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.

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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 in Cleveland, Ohio.

I have coordinated the Arts at Michigan program at the University of Michigan since 2007 and have spent nearly 20 years working with students and student organizations. Prior to my current position, 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.

We have been married for 30 years, and have three children – Olivia, Fletcher and Elinor - all of whom have recently 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 and Pioneer High School – giving our family a broad experience among the schools within the district.

I have coordinated the Arts at Michigan program at the University of Michigan since 2007 and have spent nearly 20 years working with students and student organizations. Prior to my current position as the Facilities Coordinator at the Student Theatre Arts Complex, and have also worked as the Director of Arts and Programs at the Michigan Union, the Program Coordinator for the 2001 Dance for Mother Earth – Ann Arbor Pow Wow, and the Office and Program Manager for the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. I am also an active member of the Arts Adminisatrators in Higher Education (AAHE) and hosted our annual meeting here at the University in June 2012.

I joined the Ann Arbor Board of Education in 2003, and have been re-elected to two additional terms of service. 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

  • 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
  • 63 district students have been named National Merit Finalists in this year alone
  • Average SAT and ACT Scores well exceed national averages
  • 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

  • A 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
  • The Board instituted district-wide all-day kindergarten programs and integrated Early Childhood and Preschool education with local resources and dedicated facilities
  • A comprehensive Achievement Plan serves as a roadmap to improving student academic outcomes and is reflected at every level of district leadership
  • The Discipline Gap Plan has been employed to address lingering disparities and maintain students in class and in school through Positive Behavior Support
  • The Board updated district policy to include:

    -More Inclusive Non-Discrimination policies

    -Stronger Anti-Bullying policies

    -Multiple Access and Educational Equity policies

    -More Specific Non-Harassment policies

Partnerships

    Educational/Business

  • 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

  • Created and implemented balanced district budgets every year
  • Passed all 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

Facilities

    Buildings/Energy

  • 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 (awared 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

  • 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, giving focused learning opportunities for more than 300 students to date
  • Expanded use of Assistive Technology, such as Smart Boards and hand-held technology for increased communication and safety
  • Expanded Multimedia Capabilities for students in the classroom through Software and Hardware upgrades
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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.

-Endorsed by the Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA)

-John and Jocelyn Blaufuss

-JoAnn Emmendorfer and Mario Brennan

-Barb Byers and Howard Bunsis

-Brian, Olivia, Fletcher and Elinor Chambers

-Leslie Chambers

-Carl and Natalie Davidson

-Jim Egan and Janice Skadsen

-Mike and Carol Flannagan

-Brenda Romig-Fox

-Patricia and Stephen Green

-Amy Harris

-Ann Hower

-Maria Huffman

-Dani Koel

-Joe and Emily Levickas

-Valerie Mates

-Glenn Nelson and Margaret Dewar

-Steve Norton

-Jack Panitch

-Irene Patalan and Rich Thompson

-Marian Perez

-Martine Perreault

-James Rocker

-Helen Starman

-Christine, Jim, Conleth and Aidan Stead

-Eric Sturgis

-John and Susan Sullivan

-Andy Thomas

-Paula Wishart

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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. You may contribute by credit card or by check. Your contributions are not tax-deductible, but are much appreciated! To make an online contribution click here.

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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