Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor School Superintendent Resigns

25. January 2006 • Juliew
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Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent George Fornero is leaving Ann Arbor to become the new Superintendent of Deerfield-Highland Park High School District 113 in Lake County, Illinois. Fornero will start his new job July 1.

Fornero’s comments on why he took the new job are politically neutral: “It’s a district that affords me greater latitude in terms of working with students and staff” and the new job is closer to family in Chicago. However, it isn’t hard to imagine that the seemingly constant fighting among the school board, parents, and school administration might have taken a toll. The latest survey of parents and employees had some harsh criticism for Fornero.

He leaves the school district at a difficult time but he and the school board have assured everyone that everything is under control.

  1. Thanks for posting this. I would love it if someone has some more information about his resignation. I have been in AA about five years, and the district seems to have trouble retaining good superintendents….and getting rid of bad ones.
       —JennyD    Jan. 26 '06 - 01:04AM    #
  2. Big raise, 60% smaller district with a per pupil funding rate twice as high as Ann Arbor, closer to his elderly mother. Hard to blame him, at least on those grounds.

    Sad for the district though.
       —Tom Jensen    Jan. 26 '06 - 04:49AM    #
  3. How about Bob Galardi as the new superintendent?
       —JennyD    Jan. 27 '06 - 05:46PM    #
  4. They need a good SI now. This school district is definetly not living up to it’s potential.
       —Tom    Jan. 28 '06 - 06:22PM    #
  5. Just to clarify the last Tom to post is NOT me. I think we have a great school district with a great school board and that we’ll get through this just fine.
       —Tom Jensen    Jan. 28 '06 - 09:08PM    #
  6. From inside Balas: word is that the board is split over what insider might be the best superintendent. One group favors Galardi. Another group favors Geraldine Middleton. There’s some concern that neither group is willing compromise.
       —Deep Background    Jan. 28 '06 - 10:18PM    #
  7. For the past year and a half, residents have been hammering all the issues related to the new school that were eventually, inevitably … to hit the fan: the shameful demographics (don’t trust the numbers Dr. Fornero quoted), the lack of traffic flow and safety, the tight schedule, the lack of money for the construction let alone the road changes not covered by the bond, the environment (though that is already moot now that all is clear cut), and finally the hiding of information from the public (the sly bond language, the many FOIAs needed to learn anything of value).
    The Board now says it is shocked, shocked that the Administration has been keeping them in the dark. They should have been asking the hard questions themselves rather than throwing money at the Superintendent and the bond and construction teams.
    And now the Ann Arbor News is shocked, shocked that the Board never asked the hard questions. It wasted ink on feel good news for a year and a half while this catastrophe has been obvious from the start to anyone with a reasonable sense of curiosity. Citizens for Responsible Schools ( gave the Board and the News ample leads to follow and they chose to ignore them. And now Dr. Fornero is moving to another district, leaving this one in a sea of red ink. Does District 113 in Illinois know what they’re getting?

       —Alan Pagliere    Feb. 20 '06 - 09:29AM    #
  8. By the way, Jenny D, more information on Dr. Fornero’s resignation. He was approached by a recruiting firm (School Exec Connect) in “early winter” (quote from Dr. Linda Hansen of the firm). She recruited him “agressively”. From then, till Jan. 23, when he signed the contract with the new school district, he kept his possible leaving a secret. The Board was surprised to hear he was leaving….

       —Alan Pagliere    Feb. 20 '06 - 09:35AM    #