Next Washtenaw ISD Superintendent Appointed by Board of Education
Norman opened her interview at the board meeting by sharing the personal and educational experiences that shaped the path to the leader she is today. She shared her story as one of the first elementary children in St. Paul, MN, to be part of the voluntary desegregation program where she was bused to a racially diverse school. She then moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and their native culture and traditions, where her single, immigrant mother struggled to support her four children. Norman spoke of the many cold winters she faced without heat as a young person in poverty in rural northern Michigan before moving to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan. She started her career at Washtenaw ISD as a summer temporary staff person in the Instructional Materials Center and moved up through the district in her 27 years of service.
“These experiences were pivotal for me because when we talk about students on free or reduced-price lunch or students home alone while parents are working, I know that life. These diverse experiences and growing up alongside different perspectives has provided me insight. It is important to me to see people and our students for who they are and what they have experienced, and not as their labels,” Norman shared. “I do not believe it is acceptable to have an education system that leaves some schools and some children without the support they need, and I will fight hard for the children in this community.”
Norman spoke of her vision for Washtenaw ISD and her leadership style, which included leading with humility and an open heart, building more intentional relationships and partnerships that will challenge the status quo of education and create more inclusive schools that equitably serve students, and leaning into a distributive leadership within the district, across Washtenaw County, and in the state. In addition to her vision and leadership, she outlined actionable areas of work for the district’s immediate future, such as more closely working with local school districts to identify areas where the ISD can better support them, working on the district’s organizational culture and equity team development, and tackling some of the biggest challenges facing Michigan’s schools right now, like the staffing shortage and inequitable funding.
Norman continued, “As Superintendent, my goal is for each child in our community to thrive, learn, be seen for the genius inside of them, and be valued for their uniqueness.”
Norman will formally assume the Superintendent position beginning January 1, 2022, contingent upon contract negotiations with the Board of Education over the district’s winter break.
ADA & Accessibility
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1819 S. Wagner Road
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(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311